Occupational conditions and the risk of the use of amphetamines by truck drivers

OBJECTIVE To test whether the occupational conditions of professional truck drivers are associated with amphetamine use after demographic characteristics and ones regarding mental health and drug use are controlled for.METHODS Cross-sectional study, with a non-probabilistic sample of 684 male truck drivers, which was collected in three highways in Sao Paulo between years 2012 and 2013. Demographic and occupational information was collected, as well as data on drug use and mental health (sleep quality, emotional stress, and psychiatric disorders). A logistic regression model was developed to identify factors associated with amphetamine use. Odds ratio (OR; 95%CI) was defined as the measure for association. The significance level was established as p < 0.05.RESULTS The studied sample was found to have an average age of 36.7 (SD = 7.8) years, as well as low education (8.6 [SD = 2.3] years); 29.0% of drivers reported having used amphetamines within the twelve months prior to their interviews. After demographic and occupational variables had been controlled for, the factors which indicated amphetamine use among truck drivers were the following: being younger than 38 years (OR = 3.69), having spent less than nine years at school (OR = 1.76), being autonomous (OR = 1.65), working night shifts or irregular schedules (OR = 2.05), working over 12 hours daily (OR = 2.14), and drinking alcohol (OR = 1.74).CONCLUSIONS Occupational aspects are closely related to amphetamine use among truck drivers, which reinforces the importance of closely following the application of law (Resting Act (“Lei do Descanso”); Law 12,619/2012) which regulates the workload and hours of those professionals. Our results show the need for increased strictness on the trade and prescription of amphetamines in Brazil.