23rd October 2015
A study conducted by Curtin University has revealed that workers in the hospitality sector are more likely to abuse over-the-counter and prescription medications than those in any other industry.
In an interview with the ABC, Mark Harris from Curtin University said that almost 4% of the study's respondents said that they had used a pharmaceutical drug for non-medical reasons.
Mr Harris said that the key finding of the study was that "workers in the hospitality industry were more likely to misuse pharmaceutical drugs. We also found that blue collar workers, so your labourers and construction workers etc, were much more likely to misuse these drugs than white collar workers."
A national survey is conducted every three years by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in order to assess the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol and drug use within the community. Researchers from Curtin University collated results from the last decade in Australia, focusing on 70,000 workers between the ages of 20 and 65.
Due to the fact that the data collected is self-reported, Mr Harris feels that the true drug abuse statistics could be much higher.
The study suggests that workplace testing should be introduced and has also found that jobs that had higher responsibility and authority were more likely to have higher levels of pharmaceutical drug misuse. The study would also appear to indicate that over-the-counter drugs are replacing illicit drugs in many ways.
Source : ABC News, 19th October 2015