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Doping and work: worried health professionals

Assets are consuming more and more drugs, alcohol, psychotropic substances in the world of work

Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine…: the assets consume more and more psychotropic substances, legal and illegal, but the question of the link with the work is never asked, deplore professionals of the sector whereas Monday opens a conference on the subject.

Twenty million active or unemployed (out of 29 million, according to INSEE) are concerned, underlined in 2016 the interministerial mission of fight against drugs and addictive behaviors (Mildeca).

“More and more people have a use of the products either to hold, to sleep or to recover, or to build a professional identity. This is not consumption to stay on the sidelines but to stay in the game “, explains to AFP Gladys Lutz. This researcher chairs the association Addictology and Work (Additra) which organizes the congress in Montrouge (Hauts-de-Seine) with among others the federation Addiction, in partnership with the Mildeca.

But “the question of the link between work organization and consumption of psychotropic drugs is never asked” while “it is urgent” to change approach, she adds.

France, whose hourly productivity is among the highest in the world, is also the leading consumer of psychotropic drugs, recalls Marie Pezé, doctor of psychology, psychoanalyst and head of the network of 130 consultations + suffering at work + (souffrance-et-travail.com) that it launched in 1996 and which welcomes each year between 1,000 and 1,500 patients. If there are no accurate statistics on this link, it is “obvious,” she says.

His report is without appeal: the situation is “catastrophic”. The “frenzy that has taken hold of labor organizations is forcing legal and illegal doping”.

Dr. Pezé describes a “general increase” of both lawful treatments “helping to keep stress at work, anxiety, maltreatment situations, hyperactivity convened by work” (antidepressants, sleeping pills, anxiolytics), that “of all the other substances”, illicit, in connection with the tribe “to which the assets belong:” cocaine among traders “and communicants,” amphetamines “among artists in particular, alcohol” in sharp increase among the youngest, cannabis to “go back down”…

– Banalisation –

“The products for booster are in peak, just look at the counters of pharmacies”; there are even “anti-burn-out cocktails”, adds the author of “Burn-out for Dummies” (ed. First) which speaks of a “juicy market”?

Every day, she finds “neurophysiological exhaustion” of patients whose intellectual functions are sometimes “definitely reached”. Among them, “more and more very senior executives” including “women”.

In a recent report, the Academy of Medicine points to the “poly-consumption”, “in full upsurge in” logic of self-medication “with” a trivialization of uses, “said Ms. Lutz, who also finds an” explosion “in consumer spending painkillers such as morphine derivatives, “related to musculoskeletal disorders” and in particular to “back pain”.

“Today, we carry a mini pharmacy with ourselves and we do without lexomil,” she said, denouncing the prescription on “months or years” of sleeping pills and anxiolytics yet for temporary treatment.

According to the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM), 740 million boxes of analgesics and 164 million boxes of psycholeptics (sleeping pills, mood regulators, etc…) were sold in pharmacies in 2013.

“If we look at the consumption of drugs, we would immediately establish the link with the working conditions,” says Olivier Liaroutzos, of the Agency for the Improvement of Working Conditions (Anact), under the supervision of the Ministry work.

Yet, he added, it is “complex” to measure because of the strong interweaving of private and professional life, reinforced by hyperconnectivity.

However, he deplores the lack of cooperation between employers and trade unions within companies, who must “stop burying themselves in the sand”.

Entitled “Links between work and the use of psychotropic drugs: if we talked about it?”, The congress gathered Monday and Tuesday at the Belfry of Montrouge institutional actors but also researchers and doctors, specialists of addictology and health at work during conferences and workshops.


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