Ark highlights addiction warning signs

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Charity helps industry professionals spot possible alcohol and drug addictions

The Ark Foundation​ has released a guide for members of the hospitality industry to identify colleagues with possible alcohol and drug addictions after a TV programme highlighted the issue.

In the ITV1 documentary The Real Hell’s Kitchen, broadcast last week, former Ritz Head Chef Michael Quinn showed that the pressures of working long hours in a busy kitchen can sometimes push chefs to substance abuse.

Quinn, who earned an MBE†in recognition of his work at the Ritz, lost his job, home and family when he fell victim to alcoholism.

“Drug and alcohol abuse is a modern day problem that individuals in the hospitality sector - where long hours and high stress levels are part and parcel of many jobs - are particularly vulnerable to. Employers need to act, yet according to recent research only 20 per cent of managers have been trained in how to manage drug and alcohol misuse,” said Penny Moore, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action, the charity which runs the Ark Foundation.

As well as the guide, Ark runs a number of seminars aimed at those working in the hospitality industry.

Moore said: "The seminars are designed to educate individuals about the long-term consequences of drug and alcohol misuse so that people can make informed decisions and stop potential addictions getting out of hand."

The Ark Foundation’s guide to spotting potential drug or alcohol misuse:
Do you find one drink is not enough and halfway through it are thinking about the next?
Do you find the first drink ‘disappears’ very quickly, maybe in a single gulp?
Is drinking or drug taking making your home life unhappy?
Is it more comfortable drinking alone than with others?
Is drinking or drug taking affecting your reputation?
If your dependency has escalated, has your ambition decreased?
Have you ever felt remorse and sadness after drinking?
Have you often drunk last thing at night to aid sleep, or in the middle of the night for the same purpose?
Have you ever ‘lost’ periods of time the next day, attempting to piece together what took place?
Have you ever been in hospital, a police cell or prison because of your dependency?
If a function you were attending was ‘alcohol free’, would you ‘slip a few in’ before attending?
Would it seem ‘odd’ to you to leave a half full glass of your drink?
Have you ever decided to ‘give up’ for any period of time, say a week or a month, maybe for January, to prove to yourself you could do it?
Do you drink because you are shy around other people?
Has anyone ever expressed concern about your drinking or drug taking?
Do you ever find you end up drinking considerably more than you had intended to at the start of the evening?
Has a relationship ever broken down because of your alcohol or drugs?
Do you ever ‘sneak’ a drink at the bar when ordering a round?
Do you feel ill at ease with people who do not drink, or drink very little?
Have you ever lost time from work through drinking or drug taking?

If you or someone working for you would answer YES to three of the above questions then its advisable to take a closer look – if it’s more than three then the behaviour needs to be addressed. Contact The Ark Foundation​ to see how it can help employers, employees and businesses clean up their act and face the issues responsibly.


Related topics: People, Restaurants


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