Introduction Mental and behavioural disorders including chemical dependency (CD) are one of the most important causes of work absence. More than 6 million Brazilians is affected with problems associated with substance abuse. Studies suggests that alcohol and drugs have been the most prevalent and the main cause of long period work absence. The objective of this study is to analise the profile of workers with chemical dependency receiving sick leave benefits.
Method This was a restrospective study between July 2014 and July 2016. It involved 42 workers receiving temporary sick leave benefits from the National Social Security Institute (INSS) and they were submitted to structured analysis for the data collection, including: sex, age, occupation, international classification of diseases (ICD), work absence, readmissions, time of chemical dependence and current employment status.
Results Most of the chemical dependents were: male (40), with mean age of 37 years (ranging from 21–63 years); 30.9% traders, 28.6% construction workers, 16.7% cleaning and public safety workers, 9.5% drivers, 9.5% rural workers and 4.8% general production workers; mean time of dependence=16 years (ranging from 1–48 years). Most prevalent disorders: multiple drug (ICD-F19%–69%), alcohol related (ICD-F10%–26.2%) and cocaine related (ICD-F14 4.8%), with 93% associated with smoking; mean time work absence was 79 days; 57% were employed.
Discussion The results showed the worker’s profile with CD, demonstrating the relevance of alcohol and drug abuse in this population and present to companies to take preventive measures related with work absence, and health promotion through the reduction of CD’s prevalence at work. The results of the analysis are consistent with findings from the literature.