Could This Technology Help Drastically Lower America’s Alcohol Abuse In Workplaces?
By Sam Msiska, Benzinga Staff Writer
May 25, 2022
Of the 10 common addictions in the U.S., alcohol ranks first.
Most American adults drink alcohol at least once in their lifetimes, and 6.7% of them will develop alcohol use disorder (AUD). Excessive drinking accounts for the loss of more than a potential 2.7 million years of life in America alone.
A Brief History Of Alcohol Use In America
Alcohol has been part of American culture since before Christopher Columbus set foot on “the land of opportunity.” Colonists in 1770 are believed to have drunk about 3½ gallons of alcohol per year — twice the modern rate.
Alcohol was outlawed in America (at least on paper) in 1919, but the industry continued to flourish underground. Organized crime skyrocketed and speakeasy bars became prominent owing to the lack of enforcement of Prohibition.
When the Great Depression hit, alcohol went into relative hiding until after World War II when its popularity began to resurface. That’s also when people started learning about health impacts associated with alcohol abuse such as deadly alcohol use disorder and the risks caused by drunk driving.
The State Of Alcohol Consumption In America
According to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 85.6% of people age 18 and older in the U.S. reported they have consumed alcohol at some point. Ninety percent of the respondents indicated they work full time.
The U.S. has lower rates of alcohol consumption than some countries such as Denmark, Finland, and Australia, but it has the highest rate of alcohol abusewith more than 14 million people struggling with alcohol use disorder.
The COVID pandemic has increased alcohol use around the world, including in the U.S. — a recent study revealed that alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdowns in the U.S. increased by over 60%. The number of online liquor stores increased by 262% in the first three weeks of March 2020 as the pandemic was taking hold.
With the sudden spike in alcohol consumption, significantly resulting from COVID-19, some employees may end up carrying their drinking habits to work. SOBR Safe Inc.
(SOBRsafe) has developed a new alcohol detection solution for commercial drivers and workplaces.
The Holy Grail of Workplace Alcohol Detection?
SOBRsafe, a provider of technology solutions for alcohol policy management, has created a touch-based identity verification and alcohol detection solution. The device delivers on the company’s mission to create a culture of prevention.
Alcohol-related injuries, deaths and lost productivity cost U.S. employees and insurance companies between $33 billion and $68 billion each year. SOBRsafe says its SOBRcheck device is the leading preventative transdermal alcohol detection system in America.
This makes it different from the common breath alcohol detectors such as those manufactured by companies like Lifeloc Technologies Inc. , which can increase the risk of spreading COVID and other airborne illnesses.
SOBR Check detects alcohol levels in employees and once an offender is detected, real-time data is sent via a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to a human resource office or occupational safety personnel so they enforce their organization’s alcohol policies.
SOBRsafe has successfully completed pilot programs with multiple companies, including Continental Services, Michigan’s largest food management company. SOBRsafe has now entered its revenue phase and secured its first commercial customers in the first quarter of 2022.