CHICAGO, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The October 17 release of "Economic Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption in the U.S." elevates the importance of companies planning safe and healthy office parties. The Workplace Well-being Committee of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is hosting an afterhours "Office Party" November 3 to encourage companies to have safe and healthy parties. Guests will enjoy new pairings of food and drinks, but the drinks will be alcohol free. Office Party is going to the extreme to be a live laboratory for guests to mingle casually, get to know new people, reacquaint with others and capitalize on networking opportunities. All will be focused and alert when they leave.
The message of the Workplace Well-being Committee is that even where a culture of health and wellness is a priority; there are still too many workplace stigmas when it comes to alcohol. "...we still live and work in a culture – sometimes referred to as a 'man's world' – that attaches a little gravitas to a drink that is brown or white and served with as little froufrou as possible," said executive coach Jill Bremer for Crain's Chicago Business (10/17/11 For women executives, there's still a glass ceiling – of sorts). An editorial reply the following week offers optimism. "I have been to many a business affair and enjoyed a fruit-tini concoction with no problem," said Virginia Ann Primack (10/24/11 All cocktails created equal).
Office Party demonstrates that alcohol free is an alternative for those who are partying then driving a vehicle and a choice if your medical condition prevents you from drinking alcoholic beverages; if you are pregnant and not able to drink alcohol; and for those who are in recovery or avoiding a binge but would still enjoy tasteful beverages.
The cost of excessive alcohol consumption in the United States in 2006 reached $223.5 billion or about $1.90 per drink, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost three–quarters of these costs were due to binge drinking, consuming four or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or five or more drinks per occasion for men, the report said. Researchers found the costs largely resulted from losses in workplace productivity (72 percent of the total cost), health care expenses for problems caused by excessive drinking (11 percent of the total cost), law enforcement and other criminal justice expenses related to excessive alcohol consumption (9 percent of the total cost), and motor vehicle crash costs from impaired driving (6 percent of the total cost).
"This landmark study highlights the enormous costs that excessive alcohol consumption inflicts on the individuals involved and on society in general," said Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "It also reinforces the importance of addressing behavioral health issues, including substance abuse, through our health care system." The study, "Economic Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption in the U.S., 2006," is published online at http://www.ajpmonline.org/, and in the November 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The vision of Chicagoland Chamber's Workplace Well-Being Committee is to enable small and medium for-profit and non-profit enterprises to have workplaces free of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and free of the safety, productivity and morale issues they cause. The objective is for the Workplace Well-Being Committee and staff to offer solutions that employers implement to improve workplace well-being with addiction prevention practices and services because they understand "Why" there are health and talent returns on their investments (ROI). Committee members include experts from well-being related fields of behavioral health, medicine, wellness, social work, employee assistance, background screening and drug testing.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce was the first regional chamber of commerce in the United States and has served independent businesses throughout the metropolitan area since 1904. The Chamber's more than 2,600 members employ more than one million individuals throughout the region. The mission of the Chicagoland Chamber is to make Chicagoland the most business-friendly region in America and enhance our members' success through aggressive programs of advocacy, member benefits and services and actionable information. Visit the Chamber's website at www.chicagolandchamber.org.
SOURCE Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce