It is natural and it is normal, and it not the alcoholic trying to fool the company, his family, or the entire DOT supervisor training class when they say “other problems cause me to drink.”
Employees with substance abuse problems are earnestly working to figure out why their drinking is problematic. Frankly, this is a good reason to do employee awareness training for alcohol and other drugs of abuse--for the self-diagnosis effect this sort of training has on workers.
As a DOT supervisor training class attendee, your best approach to understand employee substance is to realize that these individuals have years—no decades!—typically, of successful, non-problematic drug and alcohol use before these substances turn on them. The reasonable suspicion training class you are attending must briefly mention these falsehoods up front with the first few slides.
When drug and alcohol abuse education fails to discuss the phenomenon mentioned above, confusion remains for the DOT Supervisor Training participants. And alcoholic and drug addicted employees will look for any viable explanation to explain away their problems with substances. This is further fueled by the shear need to do so because living without these substances that provide instant relief, first as euphoria agents, and then as symptoms relievers is not visually possible. And it is terrifying to consider it.
It is difficult to believe that some alcoholic employees blame their use of alcohol on their personal problems. We know a lot more about alcoholism in the 21st century, and this excuse simply does not fly any longer among health and wellness professionals, no matter how ignorant they are about alcoholism.
Do these alcoholics actually believe what they are actually saying? If you are a professional counseling in the field or alcoholism or a member of some helping profession, you would find this difficult to believe, but there is good reason to accept that some alcoholics are in fact this ignorant about their disease. Enabling alcoholics, typically the work of coworkers and family members also explains these attitudes.
The truth is that some employees do believe their drug or alcohol abuse is caused by their problems. And this very real possibility is based on several factors
(Of course the truth is that these drinkers who complain about personal problems causing their alcoholism have linked relief drinking and managing stress or actual withdrawal symptoms being treated by the consumption of alcohol which makes them temporarily go away.)
The movies, false models of alcoholism, psychiatrists who don’t know any better, or friends and relatives all may explain alcohol abuse by the alcoholic as a symptom of his attempts to relieve himself of his concerns over his problems.
Mental health professionals in private practice have made millions of dollars with this psychiatric model that is completely debunked by science. So, in all the drug and alcohol courses that you might consider for use in your organization, be sure to look for this message that addictions are chronic diseases of biogenic origin.
The alcoholic that has family members and friends who buy into this model of problem drinking is not going to attempt to dissuade this misguided individuals and have them listening to a lecture about alcoholism as an acute chronic illness because they have not been educated enough to be convincing.