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Occup Environ Med doi:10.1136/oemed-2013-101452
  • Review

Psychoactive substance use by truck drivers: a systematic review

Open AccessPress Release
  1. Marcela Maria Birolim2
  1. 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
  2. 2Postgraduate Program in Public Health, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
  3. 3Department of Public Health, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Professor Edmarlon Girotto, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Robert Koch Avenue, 60, Londrina, Paraná 86038-350, Brazil; eddieuel{at}yahoo.com.br
  • Received 15 February 2013
  • Revised 29 July 2013
  • Accepted 6 August 2013
  • Published Online First 21 October 2013

Abstract

The aim of this study was to summarise the scientific evidence on the prevalence of psychoactive substance use and on the factors associated with their intake among truck drivers. A systematic review was performed in the databases PubMed, Scientific Electronic Library Online, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences, and Cochrane and 36 cross-sectional studies were identified with quantitative results about the use of psychoactive substances by truck drivers. Out of these, 28 were carried out in countries with large land areas and 23 obtained their information through self-reporting. The most frequently studied substances were alcohol (n=25), amphetamines (n=17), marijuana (n=16) and cocaine (n=13). The prevalence of the use of these substances greatly varied: alcohol (0.1–91.0%); amphetamines (0.2–82.5%), marijuana (0.2–29.9%), cocaine (0.1–8.3%). The frequency of substance use was lower in studies that investigated the presence of these substances in biological samples than in those based on self-reported use. In 12 studies that evaluated factors associated with the intake of psychoactive substances, the following stood out: younger age, higher income, longer trips, alcohol consumption, driving in the night shift, travelling interstate routes, long or short sleep, fewer hours of rest, little experience of the driver, connection with small and medium sized companies, income below levels determined by labour agreements, productivity-based earnings and prior involvement in accidents. The frequency of psychoactive substance use by truck drivers seems to be high, although that greatly varies according to the type of substance and the method of collecting the information. The use of these substances was mainly associated with indicators of poor working conditions.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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