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The Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Report (2007-2020) provides an overview of the cost impact of alcohol and other substances across the healthcare, business (in the form of lost productivity), legal and other sectors. According to this report, alcohol accounts for $19.7 billion or 40.1% of the total costs across these sectors and is the most costly substance by a significant amount. Within the business sector, lost productivity is defined as the lost value of work due to premature death, long-term disability, and short-term disability which includes absenteeism and impaired job performance or "presenteeism".

In 2020, lost productivity attributable to substance use (SU) accounted for $22.4 billion or $589 per person. In this same year, there were nearly 74,000 SU-attributable deaths of which 24,346 were under the age of 65 which translates to 345,091 potential years of productive life lost (PYPLL). 

This amount of loss in terms of lives, years and profit, is entirely preventable and can be changed. When change is created in corporate environments, the ripple effect can be significant and profound.

How is alcohol use impacting your company, employees, culture and bottom line?

My name is Amy C. Willis and I have been working professionally as a sober coach since 2019. In addition to my coaching practice, I am also a writer, speaker, consultant and educator on (normative) alcohol culture. I am deeply passionate about educating on the inherent risks associated with alcohol consumption and am committed, through various aspects of my work, to reduce the harms caused by alcohol. 

As an Alcohol Culture Consultant & Educator, I work with companies and organizations to support them in creating inclusive, well-being and employee-centered cultures and environments that support employee wellness and organizational health. We know that alcohol and other substance use has profoundly negative impacts on the individual and these impacts also extend to companies and organizations. But it doesn't have to. A more healthy, inclusive, balanced and profitable culture and environment is possible.

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This is where I come in

My approach with corporate clients, organizations and businesses is threefold, addressing policy, education and behaviour change and includes:

- Assessment of current policy and gap analysis as it relates to alcohol, mental health and wellness

- Providing guidance and suggestions on policy packages that would support a more inclusive, wellness, and employee-centred culture and environment

- Provide educational workshops and seminars to leadership and employees 

- Provide confidential and private 1:1 coaching to employees seeking to change their relationship with alcohol

- Follow-up assessments

How safe (or toxic) is alcohol culture in your workplace?

Take the quiz below to determine how safe or toxic the alcohol culture is in your organization

  1. Does your company/organization regularly host mandatory events that are alcohol-centric? This could look like: always including alcohol in celebrations (birthdays, promotions, successful funding rounds, etc.), hosting events in alcohol-heavy environments like bars, breweries or wineries  

  2. Is drinking to cope or deal with work-related stress normalized in your company/organization?

  3. Are long hours and a high-stress environment the norm within your company/organization? Check out what the Harvard Business Review has to say about the relationship between long work hours and alcohol use

  4. Does your company/organization stock and/or regularly consume alcohol within your office/workspace?

  5. Are after work drinks/office happy hours the norm within your company/organization?

  6. Is there an expectation (unspoken or otherwise) within your company/organization that alcohol be included in client meetings/outings?

  7. Have there been any changes in your company/organization around alcohol-related medical claims? Have there been any changes in your company/organization around breast cancer medical claims? Read more here on the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer

  8. Does your company/organization have an un/official ‘hangover leave’ policy?

  9. Does your company/organization have a permanent budget line for alcohol?

  10. Does your company/organization have policies that govern alcohol use at company/organizational events?

  11. Does your company/organization support holistic wellness amongst employees (i.e. therapy and mental health supports, paid mental health days, etc.)  as a way to reduce the need to use alcohol to cope with stress?

If you answered yes to 3+ questions, it is likely you could use some support when it comes to your company/organization culture when it comes to alcohol. 

Creating a more inclusive, wellness, and employee-focused environment not only supports the well-being of your team but it will also support increased productivity, revenue and profit.

I would love to support your company/organization in this vital work. Please reach out to me at to discuss what consulting package will best support a positive and transformative shift in your policy, team and business. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Change is possible

Check out our 3-part conversation on
Alcohol Workplace Wellbeing & Inclusivity

Corrective note: By consuming one standard drink per day (or 7 standard drinks/week), breast cancer risk increases by approximately 14%.

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