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Drugs, work & you

This week our guest blogger, M.Matthew, decided to tackle a serious subject – drugs, alcohol and safety. Take a read and share your thoughts on this below in  our comments section.

I recently attended a talk by an Albertan physician who is well-known for his expertise in the field of Occupational Medicine. What he shared shocked me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

The topic was psychoactive drugs (drugs that affect brain function) and how they impair us at work. One of his key points was:

  • People who are impaired, particularly long-term impairment, are usually unaware of this.

He explained that all psychoactive drugs affect both your brain and your body.  This impact includes the acute period when the drug is actively working on your brain and the after effects of the drug as your body is slowly metabolizing or eliminating it.

That wasn’t the astonishing part, though. Depending on the drug, some of the late, post intoxication effects, can last for several weeks after your last use, if you are a heavy or regular user.

This is mind blowing.

One of the doctor’s most compelling examples involved drinking. Yes, alcohol is a psychoactive drug, don’t kid yourselves.

The average male reached a 0.08 alcohol level after 3 – 4 standard drinks (2-3 for women) in one hour. If, on a typical “night out,” you consume between 10 – 20 standard drinks, it will take your body more than 10 hours to return to normal. This means, that unless you got to sleep for a massive amount of time, when you get up the next morning, you are still impaired.

If you are scheduled to work at 8 a.m., you have a problem.

We all think that when the party is over, the impact of drinking is over.  Not so.

Think carefully before placing yourself in this situation and trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

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