Doping in the job is increasing

Increased performance with the help of drugs is also on the rise in Germany

More and more professionals are doping with medicines. © DAK Health Report 2015
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Brain Doping: Nearly three million Germans have already used prescription drugs to be more efficient at work or to relieve stress. This emerges from a recent health report of the DAK. The numbers rose in recent years from 4.7 to 6.7 percent - and the unreported figure is much higher. Especially employees with simple jobs or insecure jobs are among the risk groups for drug abuse.

They are called Ritalin, Adderall, Vigil or Modafinil and actually they should help the sick - such as in ADHD, severe sleep disorders or Alzheimer's. However, some healthy people use these funds for professional purposes - to increase their concentration, memory or generally their cognitive abilities. Those who do, however, often take far-reaching and long-term consequences into account. Nevertheless, it seems that more and more people are dodging alleged "miracle pills" in order to increase their performance.

Brain doping is increasing

For the representative study "Update: Doping in the Workplace", DAK-Gesundheit has now examined whether and how workers with no medical need can resort to prescription drugs. Experts call this "pharmacological neuro-enhancement". To this end, DAK-Gesundheit analyzed the drug data of 2.6 million employed persons and interviewed more than 5, 000 employees aged 20 to 50 years

Doping in the workplace: Neuro-enhancement has increased significantly. © DAK Health Report 2015

The results show that the grip on the performance-enhancing pill is increasing. According to data from the DAK, this has already been done by at least 6.7 percent of the working population. This is two percent more than in 2008. According to estimates by the experts, the number of unreported cases is up to twelve percent. This would, extrapolated to the German population mean that already about five million workers have gedoptigt their performance.

According to the study, about 1.9 percent of the population regularly dope, which is still equivalent to one million working people. And even those who have not tried it, apparently not automatically opponents of the controversial method: Almost one in ten stated to be open to brain doping in principle. "Even if doping in a job in Germany is not yet a mass phenomenon, these results are an alarm signal", warns DAK chief executive Herbert Rebscher. display

Who dopt why

The trigger for the pill is usually high pressure, stress and overwork. Four out of ten dopers stated that they were taking medication on specific occasions, such as upcoming presentations or important negotiations. Even people who work at the limits of their ability to perform or in whom errors can have serious consequences, are more likely to resort to high-performance drugs, the DAK analysis shows.

The majority dopt on certain occasions. DAK Health Report 2015

This is by no means the prevailing bias of the doping top manager. The opposite seems to be the case: the use of performance-enhancing pills increases all the more, the more uncertain the workplace and the easier the work. In addition, older tests have already shown that neuro-enhancement does not help people who have high IQ and are already using their cognitive performance.

Women are doping differently than men: "Women tend to take certain remedies for depression to improve their mood and reduce anxiety and anxiety", says Rebscher explaining the motives. Men's are usually stimulating means. They want to stay awake, strong and capable.

There is no miracle pill

Putting in a pill and getting super powers many probably imagine taking Ritalin and Co. That's not right, because there is no miracle pill. The effect of the medication is often limited to a short and minimal effect on cognitive performance.

The price paid for this, however, is high: Physical side effects such as headaches and sleep disturbances to Herzrhythmusst rungen are not uncommon. Just as little as personal change and dependency and possible long-term consequences are still completely unclear. "Dangers of addiction and side effects of brain doping should not be underestimated, " warns Rebscher. "That's why we need to look ahead to health and discuss our values ​​and lifestyle issues."

The complete report for download (PDF, 1 MB)

(DAK-Health, 18.03.2015 - MAH)