"It's not all dependant on location however, with the Police noting there are specific behaviours that increase the likelihood of alcohol-related offences occurring. These include the practice of pre-loading, in which people attempt to consume as much alcohol as possible before heading into population centres."
New Zealanders can become dependent on a number of substances that are likely to affect their performance in the workplace as well as their personal lives.
A few, such as alcohol, are acceptable to consume in smaller quantities but can still have a profoundly negative impact on those who abuse them.
Extensive alcohol abuse can create health issues and make it difficult for employees to function at work, impacting an organisation's productivity and workplace culture.
The issue has received widespread media attention throughout New Zealand, especially with regards to a perceived binge drinking culture, but what do employers need to know?
Alcohol still the most common drug in New Zealand
Despite its legal classification, alcohol is considered a drug in New Zealand. Alcohol.org.nz compiled Ministry of Health (MoH) statistics to illustrate the drinking habits of New Zealanders, finding that more people indulge in alcohol consumption than any other addictive substance.
For the majority of the country's population, this has little to no effect on their personal and professional lives. However, for some, excessive drinking can become a regular part of life.
In the same report, Alcohol.org.nz published research from the MoH that revealed one in eight New Zealanders consume a large amount of alcohol at least once per week. This constitutes six drinks for males and four drinks for females.
What are the societal effects?
The New Zealand Police broke down the number of alcohol-related calls it received by region, revealing that the substance plays a significant role in the amount of illegal activity committed throughout the country.
In Auckland alone, the Police fielded around 72,000 calls of this nature each year between 2008 and 2012, with the concentration of these events peaking between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
While these instances take place outside of work hours for a significant portion of the population, if they begin to overflow into their professional lives they may require employee assistance programmes to help them overcome any negative behaviour.
Unsurprisingly, city centres and other areas with a high number of bars and restaurants were the primary sources for these disturbances, according to the MoH.
It's not all dependant on location however, with the Police noting there are specific behaviours that increase the likelihood of alcohol-related offences occurring. These include the practice of pre-loading, in which people attempt to consume as much alcohol as possible before heading into population centres.
To find out how OCP's employee assistance programmes can help with alcohol or other substance-related issues, contact the team today.