Sei sulla pagina 1di 7

Many practical stress management techniques are available, some for use by health professionals and others, for

self-help, which may help an individual reduce their


levels of stress, provide positive feelings of control over one's life and promote general well-being.
Evaluating the effectiveness of various stress management techniques can be difficult, as limited research currently exists. Consequently, the amount and quality of
evidence for the various techniques varies widely. Some are accepted as effective treatments for use in psychotherapy (Psychotherapy is a general term for treating
mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods,
feelings, thoughts and behaviors), while others with less evidence favoring them are considered alternative therapies. Many professional organizations exist to promote
and provide training in conventional or alternative therapies.
Not all stress is bad. In fact, some stress heightens your senses, helping you to avoid accidents, power through unexpected deadlines, or stay clear-minded in chaotic
situations. This is the "fight-or-flight" response that your body triggers in times of duress. But stress is meant to be temporary. Your body should return to a natural state
after the situation has passed. Your heart rate should slow, your muscles should relax, and your breathing should return to normal. The pressures and demands of
modern life may put your body in a heightened state for a long period of time, making your heart pump hard and your blood vessels constrict for longer than your body can
handle. Over time, these physiological demands can take a toll on your body.
Common Sources of Work Stress
Low salaries.
Excessive workloads.
Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
Work that isn't engaging or challenging.
Lack of social support.
Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.
Effects of Uncontrolled Stress
In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating.
Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression,
obesity and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating, eating unhealthy
foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol.
Taking Steps to Manage Stress
Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings
and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved, the physical setting and how you reacted.
Develop healthy responses. Instead of attempting to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, do your best to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. Exercise is
a great stress-buster. Yoga can be an excellent choice, but any form of physical activity is beneficial. Also make time for hobbies and favorite activities. Whether it's
reading a novel, going to concerts or playing games with your family, make sure to set aside time for the things that bring you pleasure. Getting enough good-quality sleep
is also important for effective stress management. Build healthy sleep habits by limiting your caffeine intake late in the day and minimizing stimulating activities, such as
computer and television use, at night.
Establish boundaries. In today's digital world, it's easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean
making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how
much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes
with it. Learn how to relax. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and
thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking or enjoying a meal.
The skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will get stronger with practice and you'll find that you can apply it to many different
aspects of your life
Talk to your supervisor. Healthy employees are typically more productive, so your boss has an incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being.
Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn't to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for
managing the stressors you've identified, so you can perform at your best on the job. While some parts of the plan may be designed to help you improve your skills in
areas such as time management, other elements might include identifying employer-sponsored wellness resources you can tap into, clarifying what's expected of you,
getting necessary resources or support from colleagues, enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks, or making changes to your physical
workspace to make it more comfortable and reduce strain.
Get some support. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management
resources available through an employee assistance program (EAP), including online information, available counseling and referral to mental health professionals, if
needed. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy
behavior.
Types of stress
1. Acute stress. Acute stress is the most common type of stress. Its your body's immediate reaction to a new challenge, event, or demand, and it triggers your fight-or-

flight response. As the pressures of a near-miss automobile accident, an argument with a family member, or a costly mistake at work sink in, your body turns on this
biological response. Acute stress isn't always negative. It's also the experience you have when riding a rollercoaster or having a person jump out at you in a haunted
house. Isolated episodes of acute stress should not have any lingering health effects. In fact, they might actually be healthy for you, as these stressful situations give your
body and brain practice in developing the best response to future stressful situations. Severe acute stress such as stress suffered as the victim of a crime or lifethreatening situation can lead to mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or acute stress disorder.
2. Episodic acute stress. When acute stress happens frequently, its called episodic acute stress. People who always seem to be having a crisis tend to have episodic
acute stress. They are often short-tempered, irritable, and anxious. People who are worry warts or pessimistic or who tend to see the negative side of everything also
tend to have episodic acute stress. Negative health effects are persistent in people with episodic acute stress. It may be hard for people with this type of stress to change
their lifestyle, as they accept stress as a part of life.
3. Chronic stress. If acute stress isn't resolved and begins to increase or lasts for long periods of time, it becomes chronic stress. This stress is constant and doesnt go
away. It can stem from such things as: poverty; a dysfunctional family; an unhappy marriage; a bad job. Chronic stress can be detrimental to your health, as it can
contribute to several serious diseases or health risks, such as: heart, disease, cancer, lung, disease and accidents.
Others
Common Responses to Stress
The human body has many common responses to stress. These might include both emotional responses, such as depression, anxiety, and anger issues, as well as
physical responses like cravings, headaches, sleep problems, diseases, and other detrimental effects on the body.
The Mind and Body Connection
When assessing stress levels, both the mind and body are connected. This link means that stressful thoughts or actions can sometimes lead to physical effects on the
body. For example, a person who is stressed out might crave sweets, alcohol, or nicotine, which could, in turn, harm the body by contributing to overeating, weight gain,
liver disease, lung cancer and other health problems. In addition, stressful thoughts, like worry and anxiety that are compounded over time, contribute to problems like
chest pain, arthritis, headache, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Stress plays a clear role in decreasing the body's immunity because as you are on high alert, your
body wears out and your reserves tap out.
List of Common Responses to Stress
The following are some of the common responses to stress. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider getting professional help before the condition
worsens.
Physical Responses
Physical stress includes the problems that occur in the body, such as aches, pains and disease that develop due to stress. It also includes the responses to those
symptoms, such as self-medicating with sugar or caffeine during times of stress. Some of the physical symptoms of stress include:
Chest problems such as pain, heart palpitations, and heart disease
Aches and pains in the body, including headache, back pains, and upset stomach
Problems with sleep, such as waking up in the night and not being able to fall back asleep
High blood pressure
Emotional Responses
Emotional stress are thoughts and feelings experienced during stressful situations. For the most part, these are negative thoughts, although emotional stress can also
come from overexcitement due to a positive event. The human body simply can't sustain an elevated level for long without consequences. Emotional responses to stress
include some of the following:
Anxiety and depression symptoms
Anger and outbursts or rage
Burnout and the inability to focus
Withdrawing socially and forgetfulness
Increased irritability and restlessness
Behavioral responses
aggression (response to helplessness)
withdrawal (conservation of energy when overwhelmed)
suspicioussness
somatic behaviors
Short Behavioral Effects of Stress
In the short run your body is preparing itself for action. It is making you focus on the most important things.
As a result of this your brain will try and "automate" as much of the non-vital behavior as possible. This is not a bad thing; by nature we humans are creatures of habit.
You may see this automated stress behavior if you took the milk out twice this morning or if you are spinning a pencil in your hand while working.
Note: Smoking can also be short stress behavior, but it is not a healthy habit ;)
I like jumping my leg rapidly on my toes like a dog trying to scratch itself where it can't react. I say "like", but really, I have no control over it. But it is an indicator that I look
for and when I observe the stressful behavior, I know I should look out for some of the more serious long term behavioral effects of stress...

Long Behavioral Effects of Stress


If stress is in your life over a period, the behavior effects can create 1 of the 2 following stages. Remember that it is not certain that it will happen to everybody... Stress is
individual.
A constant stress situation may happen in your body. If this happens; your stress becomes your stress. So it is a constant overproduction of stress hormones and
neurochemical in the brain that will not stop even if you take away the actual stressor.
This stage can be very harmful because it can very difficult to observe and recognize the stress. It sort of comes out of nowhere.
A lot of research has been done in this field, and there are typical signs that you can look for:
An ill temper, often annoyed or easily angry
Biting or picking your nails or the skin around your fingers
Grinding your teeth or biting the inside of your mouth
Rapid speaking
Overeating or undereating
Chain smoking
Touching you face constantly or twisting you hair
Sexual problems (tiredness, loss of libido etc.)
Physiological stress. The process of physiological stress response starts from the moment the body realizes the presence of the stressor, followed by the sending of
signals to the brain, and to the specific sympathetic and hormonal responses to eliminate, reduce or cope with the stress. The process of physiological stress response
starts from the moment the body realizes the presence of the stressor, followed by the sending of signals to the brain, and to the specific sympathetic and hormonal
responses to eliminate, reduce or cope with the stress.
Physiological Effects
The brain releases endorphins to relieve pain
Heart rate increases and heart increases its strength of contraction to pump more blood
Blood pressure rises
Digestion slows so the much needed blood may be diverted to muscles
Salivation and mucous secretion decreases - the result is a "cotton mouth" feeling
Pupils dilate so that you have a more sensitive vision
All of your senses - sight, hearing, smell, and taste - become more acute, ready to identify any threats
Sweating increases to flush waste and to cool down the body
Blood clotting increases to prevent bleeding to death during physical threat
Sugars and fats are released into the blood stream to supply fuel
Adrenaline and other hormones are released into the bloodstream to provide energy
Muscle tension increases to prepare for action in the shortens time
Bronchi dilate, allowing for more air into the lungs
Breathing gets shallow and faster to supply more oxygen to the muscles and body tissue
his reaction is pure stress and is a result of a cascade of hormones that starts as soon as your brain realizes that a demand is being made on your body.
These physiological effects of stress are meant to be short term. Once the danger passes, the body should return to its state of homeostasis, the state of internal
equilibrium when all the body systems function smoothly and are balanced.
What are psychological examples of stress?
fear
anger
loss of control
lack of information
body image changes
chemical reponse to stress
Thanks to the work of our sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight system that takes over when were stressed, when you see your bosss name in your inbox late
at night, your body reacts like theres a lion on the loose.
Behind the wide range of both physical and mental reactions to stress are a number of hormones that are in charge of adding fuel to the fire.
Adrenaline
What It Is: Commonly known as the fight or flight hormone, it is produced by the adrenal glands after receiving a message from the brain that a stressful situation has
presented itself.
What It Does: Adrenaline, along with norepinephrine (more on that below), is largely responsible for the immediate reactions we feel when stressed. Imagine youre trying
to change lanes in your car, says Amit Sood, M.D., director of research at the Complementary and Integrative Medicine and chair of Mayo Mind Body Initiative at Mayo

Clinic. Suddenly, from your blind spot, comes a car racing at 100 miles per hour. You return to your original lane and your heart is pounding. Your muscles are tense,
youre breathing faster, you may start sweating. Thats adrenaline.
Along with the increase in heart rate, adrenaline also gives you a surge of energy which you might need to run away from a dangerous situation and also focuses
your attention.
Norepinephrine
What It Is: A hormone similar to adrenaline, released from the adrenal glands and also from the brain, says Sood.
What It Does: The primary role of norepinephrine, like adrenaline, is arousal, says Sood. When you are stressed, you become more aware, awake, focused, he says.
You are just generally more responsive. It also helps to shift blood flow away from areas where it might not be so crucial, like the skin, and toward more essential areas
at the time, like the muscles, so you can flee the stressful scene.
Although norepinephrine might seem redundant given adrenaline (which is also sometimes called epinephrine), Sood imagines we have both hormones as a type of
backup system. Say your adrenal glands are not working well, he says. I still want something to save me from acute catastrophe.
Depending on the long-term impact of whatevers stressing you out and how you personally handle stress it could take anywhere from half an hour to a couple of
days to return to your normal resting state, says Sood.
Cortisol
What It Is: A steroid hormone, commonly known as the stress hormone, produced by the adrenal glands.
What It Does: It takes a little more time minutes, rather than seconds for you to feel the effects of cortisol in the face of stress, says Sood, because the release of
this hormone takes a multi-step process involving two additional minor hormones.
First, the part of the brain called the amygdala has to recognize a threat. It then sends a message to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which releases
corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH then tells the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which tells the adrenal glands to produce
cortisol. Whew!
In survival mode, the optimal amounts of cortisol can be life saving. It helps to maintain fluid balance and blood pressure, says Sood, while regulating some body
functions that arent crucial in the moment, like reproductive drive, immunity, digestion and growth.
But when you stew on a problem, the body continuously releases cortisol, andchronic elevated levels can lead to serious issues. Too much cortisol can suppress the
immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, produce acne, contribute to obesity and more.
Ducks walk out of a lake, flap their wings and they fly off, says Sood. When you face something stressful, particularly if its not likely to repeat or doesnt have a huge
long-term impact, you want to be able to shake it off and move on with life.

Psychological stress refers to the emotional and physiological reactions experienced when an individual confronts a situation in which the demands go beyond their
coping resources. Examples of stressful situations are marital problems, death of a loved one, abuse, health problems, and financial crises.

You arent weak you are just bored and unhappy.


Dig Deeper
You hate your boss. Your coworkers give you the cold shoulder. Your to-do list is either painfully boring or terrifyingly long. These sound like valid reasons to hate your job.
But in truth, theyre only the surface cause of your misery. Dig deeper, and youll discover underlying reasons youre unhappy at work that are, fortunately, fixable.
What You Say: Im Bored at Work
The Real Reason: Your efforts have been unrecognized.
The Symptoms: You feel unmotivated. You seek out diversions to real work, such as updating social media or shopping a flash sale.
The Solution: Seek out feedback.
If youre bored at work, it could be because youve been doing the same thing for too long and youre ready for a change. Or it could be that you feel no matter how hard
you work, you never get that atta girl! you deserve. If either is the case, seeking out feedback from your boss is a way to end this morale killer.
A lot of times, a supervisor is not aware that someone is looking to move up the ladder, Murray says. If you dont say anything, and you appear to be doing your job
well, the thought usually is, Lets keep that person in that job. You have to take the initiative and let your boss know, I want more opportunities to learn more things.
So, the next time you submit that big project and get zero feedback in return, dont let it discourage you. Instead, ask your boss what she thought of it, and ask her for
something more challenging next time around.
What You Say: The Hours are Too Long
The Real Reason: Youre overloaded with responsibilities but are afraid to push back and say, No, I cant take on more.
The Symptoms: Youre the first in and/or the last to leave, and even when youre not at work you have a Pavlovian response to the ding from your smartphone.
The Solution: Talk to your boss about suggestions on ways to better organize and prioritize your workload.
Some people dont know how to say no to added responsibilities, and with the way the economy has been theres been a lot of fear around saying no, says Murray.
But now that the economy is turning around, tell your boss you need to discuss your workload and get better ideas on how to organize it.
Ideally, having this conversation will open your boss eyes to exactly how much you have to get done--and how impossible that is within a 40-hour workweek. Also, she

might give you guidance on what to prioritize and what deadlines can be spaced out a bit more. This can give you some much-needed breathing room (and some
recognition from a supervisor who might not have realized how much youve been working).
What You Say: I Hate My Co-workers
The Real Reason: The problem might not be the people but rather the culture of the organization.
The Symptoms: You feel ganged up on or left out, or you find yourself arguing--a lot.
The Solution: If the culture isnt the right match for you, you should consider moving on.
If the workplace culture doesnt mesh with your personality, odds are the people there wont either. For example, if the business feeds on competition amongst coworkers,
and youre not a competitive type, youre going to chafe at that type of energy. And thats going to make you hate the guy whos constantly trying to one-up you, even if in
doing so hes just getting his job done.
If leaving the job isnt feasible, figure out how to make the environment less stressful. If there are people you particularly abhor, make sure you take your lunch an hour
after or before they do. Or request a desk change. And think about the end game. Focus on your work and your goals, says Murray. Give yourself an 18-24 month time
limit. During that time, strive for a promotion and get it. Then, start looking for your next job.
Before doing something that drastic, realize that work friends often only last as long as youre at that job. Focus instead on strengthening your friendships outside of the
office.
2.
3. Pessimism is a state of mind in which one anticipates undesirable outcomes or believes that the evil or hardships in life outweigh the good or luxuries.
4. habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep. Several psychological and physiological factors contribute to the onset and perpetuation of insomnia, such as anxiousruminative personality traits, stressful events, age-related sleep homeostasis weakening mechanisms, menopause and biologic genetic diathesis of CNS hyperarousal.
The therapeutic approach in insomnia should be multidimensional reducing the overall emotional and physiologic hyperarousal and its underlying factors present
throughout the 24-h sleep/wake period.
In a word, yes. Not all insomnia is due to stress, but people who are under considerable stress can have
insomnia. In the case of insomnia related to stress, alleviating the stress should alleviate the insomnia. Stress causes insomnia by making it difficult to fall asleep and to
stay asleep, and by affecting the quality of your sleep. Stress causes hyperarousal, which can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness.
Nevertheless, many people under stress do not have insomnia.
How can I know if my insomnia is the result of stress, or something else?
As with any symptom, an important question to ask is "when did it start?" Does the sleep problem come and go with the occurrence and disappearance of stress or does it
persist through all the permutations of one's life? That is, is it situational? Also it is helpful to clarify what one means by stress.
For example, are you frequently anxious whether or not you are under unusual stress? Is it hard for you to "wind down" at the end of the day? Are you frequently
infuriated? Or do you feel depressed? If you feel "blue" much of the time, your problem may be a mood disorder, like depression
, more than a problem with stress.
What then should I do to help my insomnia?
No matter what the cause of your insomnia, it's important to get on a good behavior programone that pays attention to periods of relaxation. I suggest three steps:
First, set your bedtime and your wake-up time according to the number of hours of sleep you are getting currently. For example, if you are sleeping only five hours a night
(even though you usually plan to spend eight hours in bed), set your sleep time for that amount. Then gradually increase the amount of time allotted for sleep by 15
minutes or so every few nights. The idea is to "squeeze out" the middle of the nighttime
5. Concentration difficulty is a decreased ability to focus your thoughts on something. Concentration difficulties can be related to difficulty staying awake, impulsiveness,
intrusive thoughts or concerns, overactivity, or inattention. They can be caused by medical, cognitive or psychological problems or may be related to sleep disorders or
medications, alcohol or drugs.
Concentration difficulties may be long-term, established conditions, as in the case of attention deficit disorder, or they may arise as a result of illness or another event.
Medical conditions that are known to cause difficulties with concentration include a variety of chronic illnesses, sleep apnea, heavy metal poisoning, infections, pain
syndromes, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. Cognitive problems that can be associated with concentration difficulties include attention deficit disorder, learning
disabilities, vision disorders, delirium, and dementia. Psychological conditions that can interfere with concentration include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder
(alternating periods of depression and elevated mood), emotional trauma, and stress.
Difficulty Concentrating Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stppler, MD
Related
Symptoms & Signs
Confusion
Altered Mental Status
Difficulty With Speech
Difficulty concentrating is a normal and periodic occurrence for most people. Tiredness and emotional stress can cause concentrationproblems in most people. Hormonal
changes, such as those experienced during menopause orpregnancy, can also affect how we think and concentrate. Concentration problems, when present to an

excessive degree, are also characteristic of certain physical and psychological conditions. The hallmark condition associated with difficulty concentrating is attentiondeficit hyperactivitydisorder (ADHD), a condition that has been increasingly diagnosed in both children an adults in recent years. Rare conditions that affect the brain and
some emotional problems as well as endocrinologic disturbances can also influence an individual's cognitive functions and thus impair concentration.
6. ANXIETY
Hyperactivity: Anxiety Cause and Symptom
Hyperactivity is a feeling of needing to be active. Often it's described as feeling an extra rush of unused energy that you feel the desire to use.
It's like what happens when you put brand new batteries in a children's toy - the toy, flush with new energy, works better and more actively than it did when the batteries
were fading. Except in this case it's as though you're putting in more powerful batteries than the toy is made for.
Being "hyper" is a common symptom of a variety of conditions. Even happiness can make one hyper. But it may also be a symptom of anxiety, and in some cases can
actually cause anxiety itself.
The "Right Amount" of Active
Hyperactivity isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the feeling of needing to be more active can be very distressing. Learn how to control anxiety that leads to hyperactivity by
taking my anxiety test now.
ANXIETY
Hyperactivity: Anxiety Cause and Symptom
Hyperactivity is a feeling of needing to be active. Often it's described as feeling an extra rush of unused energy that you feel the desire to use.
It's like what happens when you put brand new batteries in a children's toy - the toy, flush with new energy, works better and more actively than it did when the batteries
were fading. Except in this case it's as though you're putting in more powerful batteries than the toy is made for.
Being "hyper" is a common symptom of a variety of conditions. Even happiness can make one hyper. But it may also be a symptom of anxiety, and in some cases can
actually cause anxiety itself.
The "Right Amount" of Active
Hyperactivity isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the feeling of needing to be more active can be very distressing. Learn how to control anxiety that leads to hyperactivity by
taking my anxiety test now.
.
Recognizing Hyperactivity as a Problem
Hyperactivity is a subjective feeling, so it's not always clear that it's a problem on its own. Some people simply feel more active. Others feel a compulsion to be incredibly
active and "hyper" in a way that is extremely disruptive.
Focus first on your anxiety, not on your hyperactivity. If controlling your anxiety stops your hyperactivity, then it's clear that it was a problem. Take my anxiety test to learn
more.
Anxiety Creating Hyperactivity
Anxiety can absolutely cause hyperactivity. Now, anxiety cannot cause ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That is a separate disorder that we will discuss
later in the article. But anxiety can absolutely create a feeling of needing to move and be active.
One of the clear reasons is because anxiety rushes the body with adrenaline, which is the body's way of creating extra energy. That adrenaline is normally released to
keep you safe from harm - for example, getting the kind of energy you need to run away from a predator.
But since with anxiety there are no predators, it can make the body feel anxious and fidgety, as though you absolutely need to move and do something. For some people,
hyperactivity may actually become its own coping mechanism, where the person tries to complete multiple projects at once or engage in activities so that they no longer
have to think about their stresses. It can actually be fairly effective, although too much and the person can feel drained or overwhelmed.
Note: Hyperactivity is not the same as mania, which is common in bipolar disorder. Mania involves extreme elation and disjointed thinking, which is a separate condition.
Physical Hyperactivity
One of the reasons the term "hyperactivity" is complicated is because not all hyperactivity is a feeling. In some cases, it can be a body part that appears overactive, or the
person does behaviors that are indicative of excess body activity.
For example, fidgeting in one's seat or chair - something that is extremely common with anxiety - is considered hyperactivity, and it relates back to the adrenaline and the
way the body copes with stress The difference is that the person may not realize they're doing it. Same thing with walking around. Walking is actually a great tool for
stress, and the need to walk may relate to your body telling you that you're anxious.
Furthermore, hyperactivity is used to describe body parts that are overactive. In fact, the release of adrenaline from your glands is known as a "hyperactive gland," so one
might say that all anxiety is the result of hyperactivity in some sense. Not all medical terms have such clear definitions because they're used to describe different
scenarios, but many "Hyperactive" issues relate to anxiety.
7. How do hangovers and coming down affect work?
Having a hangover or coming down from drugs at work can be just as problematic as being intoxicated. Headaches, blurred vision, irritability, problems concentrating, lost
voice and extreme tiredness can all create problems for you and your co-workers.
Alcohol
Sobering up takes time. As a guide, an average person in good health can process one standard drink per hour.
Hangover cures like cold showers, doing exercise, strong coffee or being sick will not speed up the process. These cures may make you feel better, but they don't change

your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).


Other drugs
It can take several days to come down from other drugs like ecstasy, ice and amphetamines, so using these drugs on the weekend can still affect your work.
Do prescription drugs affect work?
There is always a level of risk when using any drug including prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Drug reactions vary from person to person. If you are taking a drug you haven't had before, you won't know how it will affect you. It's important to follow your doctor's
advice when taking prescription drugs and discuss any side-effects and how this might impact on your work.
The effects of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax) can have an impact on your work and you should discuss these with your doctor. Long term use
in particular may become problematic.
What is an alcohol and other drug problem?
An alcohol or drug problem isn't necessarily measured by how much, how many or what type of drugs a person uses, but by how the drug affects the person's life and the
lives of those around them. It's often a matter of personal perception.
Here are some examples of a drug problem:
Regularly returning from lunch a bit tipsy, then disturbing everyone in the office and making it harder for them to work.
Taking prescription medication for a long time, which causes memory problems, clumsiness and tiredness.
Often taking ecstasy or drinking alcohol heavily on the weekend and then coming into work tired, irritable and moody the next day.
Concerned about a co-worker?
If a co-worker's use of alcohol or other drugs is affecting you then they do have a drug problem. This person may not be aware their drug use is affecting those around
them, so you need to talk to them or the most appropriate person in your organisation such as a manager or someone from human resources.
Find out the facts
If you are concerned that a co-worker is intoxicated while at work, it is important to be very sure that the person is actually under the influence of drugs and not unwell
before you take any further action. It is very difficult to know if someone is impaired by the use of drugs or if someone is misusing them. Read through the drug
facts pages to find out about the effects of different drugs.
If you are concerned that a co-worker's drug use is affecting their work and/or the safety of others, it would be helpful to document evidence of incidents.
Speak up
If your workplace has an alcohol and drug policy, follow the procedures outlined in that document.
If your workplace does not have an alcohol policy you may wish to discuss the issue with:
Your health and safety representative
A member of the health and safety or other formal workplace committee
A manager, supervisor or employer