About one-third of adult life is spent in the workplace. The use of psychoactive substances is a major preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. The consumption of psychoactive substances during or outside working hours greatly increases the frequency and severity of labor accidents, as well as the workers’ poor general state of health and productivity, implying higher costs for enterprises. It is the responsibility of organizations to ensure the safety and health of their workers. These cannot be limited to traditional routine clinical exams, as other aspects also have an impact on health. Thus, prevention and intervention in the consumption of psychoactive substances (e.g., ethanol, opioids, central nervous system stimulants or depressants, hallucinogens, Cannabis
derivatives, dissociative substances, and inhalants) in labor activity should be considered as an investment of organizations and not as a cost, in view of the professional, personal, and family advantages for workers and employers, with a potential impact on productivity, security, health, and quality of life at work. Despite the extensive literature on the subject, each article generally focuses on one or another aspect of a very specific nature, not tackling the problem in a holistic way by confronting clinical, safety, and legal issues. This article presents a reflection on the legal, laboratorial, clinical, ethical, forensic, and safety concerns related to the consumption of psychoactive substances in the workplace, and can be a cross-cutting contribution to occupational medicine, forensic medicine, and insurance medicine, as well as for entrepreneurs, lawyers, judges, workers, and technicians from the public and private sectors that develop projects in this area. This discussion is based on general principles established internationally and highlights the role of the occupational healthcare system and other decision-making actors in the prevention and supervision of workplace psychoactive consumption.
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