Alcoholism training for industrial supervisors utilizing a trigger film : a teaching model

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Haro, Michael S., 1943-
Schaller, Warren Edward
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Thesis (Ed. S.)
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The purpose of this creative project was to develop a seminar program directed at supervisory personnel who have been identified in the literature as "keystones" to successful industrial alcoholism programs. The seminar attempts to acquaint supervisors with the characteristics of incipient problem drinking behavior, procedures for handling problem drinkers under their supervision, and skills and information for dealing effectively with personnel aspects of his/her job where performance standards are affected by a behavioral problem, i.e., problem drinking or alcoholism.To aid in the effectiveness of the seminar's content, a trigger film was developed. (A copy of the the trigger film can be found in the Ball State University Library) The trigger film, while sharing some generic similarities with the typical film or case-study approach, exhibits certain specific distinctions. It is a simulation device designed primarily to generate feelings and information within the viewer. The information the film presents is considerably more limited than a typical training film, but is designed for high, realistic impact to "trigger" response in the viewer. Its primary intent is to plunge the viewer into a realistic problem, to develop emotional reaction within him/her, and to spur active involvement in the situation. The discussions following the film allow the content for working through and dealing with these emotional reactions.The abuse of alcohol is by far this nation's biggest drug problem. With an estimated three-fourths of our population using alcoholic beverages, the losses to personal lives and the economy are staggering. The individual afflicted with alcoholism affects not only himself, but also his family, friends, business associates, and sometimes innocent bystanders.In terms of human effectiveness and productivity, alcoholism and problem drinking are taking an incredibly high toll on business. Employees who are drinking excessively are more, apt to report late, or not at all, to work at a slower rate of speed, to do poor quality work, to make bad or inadequate decisions, to forget or disregard regulations, etc. The National Council on Alcoholism estimates that the illness of alcoholism costs American business at least eight billion dollars annually; a high cost, overshadowed only by the human costs involved.Industry is a vital link in the efforts now being implemented to curb the tragedy this nation is facing due to the abuse of alcohol. Companies should be encouraged to formulate formal programs which include education, referral and follow through procedures for preventing and controlling alcohol problems among employees.A review of the literature indicates that there has been a sizeable increase in the number of companies developing alcoholism programs over the past few years. However, folklore and ignorance about alcoholism still prevail, with alcoholics often considered weak, defective in character and a disgrace to the company. This fact calls for industry to adopt a policy in which management, the medical departments and unions can all participate in the treatment and rehabilitation of the alcoholic employee. Only then can we hope to erase this ignorance laidened mark upon our society.Throughout the literature supervisors were identified as essential elements in a successful alcoholism program. Because their role in identifying and referring to treatment employees exhibiting potential alcohol related problems is so important, reference was made repeatedly to the fact that each supervisor must receive proper training in order to fulfill it adequately. Supervisors are not expected to become experts on alcoholism, nor are they expected to determine which employee does or does not have a drinking problem. Rather, the emphasis should be placed upon becoming skilled in observing and correcting performance problems. Such skill involves the supervisor's ability to recognize on-the-job indicators of possible alcoholism as well as factors indicating a significant change in the employee's work pattern and/or performance.The seminar developed by this creative project focuses upon a program directed at supervisory personnel and has the following objectives:1. To acquaint supervisors with the signs and symptoms of incipient problem drinking behavior.2. To suggest guidelines for-intervention action.3. To recommend a course of action for rehabilitating potential problem drinking employees.The seminar is presented as a teaching model. The author feels that it can become an effective device for initiating an alcoholism program in an industrial setting. However, its limitations should be recognized and efforts directed toward expanding the concept to include a total commitment by management and the unions. One without the other will provide only, a piecemeal approach; while a united effort will aid tremendously in combating this number one drug problem.