Employment referrals

It is common for individuals to seek help when their drinking has put their job in jeopardy. Having a job helps recovery, and for the person to lose employment while paying only lip-service to treatment is common and disheartening for all. The psychiatrist should find out whether disciplinary procedures are in motion or threatened. It can be helpful if the psychiatrist and the patient are told this directly by the employer. If the consultation is part of an undertaking under a company 'alcohol and drugs policy', the patient may have given permission for the psychiatrist to answer the employer's request to know whether he or she is attending and following advice.

Patients who are on the point of dismissal may offer to take disulfiram supervised in the company's occupational health or welfare department. This can bring about recovery and employment for as long as the threat of dismissal remains, and sometimes afterwards. (76>

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