Are methamphetamines becoming a work place staple in America?

Downsizing and increased demands for more and more output, American workers are working longer hours and to help meet the demands – drugs

Drugs have graduated into a megalithic problem in the workplace, but for as little as $100.00 per month, a person can get pep pills and keep up with an increasing work load and demand.

The illegal drug, also known as "ice," "Tina" or "crystal," is a powerful stimulant: A single dose can keep users high for up to 14 hours.  For the American worker, this attractive boost is their only means to accommodate the longer hours demanded to do the job.

Starting in California, where Silicon Valley employees frequently worked 80 – 100 hour work weeks, the trend has now migrated into Midwest and East coast according to a 2002 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Researchers report a small but growing number of employers in industries hit hardest by methamphetamines — construction, sales and retail companies.

Methamphetamines work by blocking the brain's ability to cleanse itself of the euphoria-causing neurotransmitter dopamine. That can lead to intense feelings of pleasure and elevated mood that last for hours. The drug's characteristics - increased concentration and the ability to work longer hours - are traits highly valued by managers who are unlikely to see the drugs as a "problem".  Increased productivity is every manager's dream come true and it is great for profitability also. But, it all comes with a price to the person using such drugs. 

Research is starting to document the long-term effects of methamphetamines use on the brain, which appear to be severe. According to one recent study, long-term users suffer losses in memory and cognitive ability similar to those of people with Parkinson's disease. Addiction to methamphetamines is very difficult to treat and suffers from very low success rates. 

In a job market where jobs are hard to come by, and for every opening a company can expect to see 200 or more resumes, an addicted and burned out employee is easy to replace. 

Michael Berglin

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Author`s name Olga Savka