Working on yachts can be stressful. catering to guests' needs, maintaining very high standards with long work hours, it can also be lonely, spending long periods of time apart from friends, family and partners. Using alcohol and other substances, prescription and non-prescription medication, and street drugs can be seen as a way of blocking out these feelings and coping with a particularly demanding charter or situation. Likewise, days off during the season can be viewed as a legitimate excuse to celebrate to excess, and crew can feel peer pressure from other crew members to be part of the work hard /play hard crew culture.
All of this can contribute to crew finding themselves shifting from the social to the misuse stage into the addiction stage, but they may still be able to carry out their duties and appear to be fully functioning. This makes it harder for them to ask for help, and for fellow crew to realise that they may be struggling and offer support.
Substance misuse is the improper or unhealthy use of a medication as prescribed, and using alcohol beyond moderation. It also includes using prescription drugs in ways other than prescribed, or using someone else’s prescription and social or occasional use of street drugs.
Addiction refers to substance use disorders at the severe end of the spectrum and is characterized by a person’s inability to control the impulse to use drugs or alcohol even when there are negative consequences. Eating disorders also come under this category.
Fear of losing your position, your reputation, or being labeled an addict or alcoholic can make it difficult to admit your concerns and ask your colleagues for help. At Yacht Crew Help you can have a confidential, non-judgmental conversation to discuss your concerns regarding your alcohol or drug use, and take the first step in finding the help that will suit.