A massive uptake in drug consumption among public sector workers in Spain has been recorded since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The shock results come from a CSIF union survey conducted among over 2,000 public sector employees.

45% of those interviewed admitted to using psychotropic drugs- and that percentage rises among health workers and other staff with ‘front line’ contact with Covid-19.

Just over half of the 45% figure takes psychotropic medication every day and 13% take them several times a week.

The CSIF says that at least 55% of those surveyed who are currently on medication, did not take any drugs before the coronavirus outbreak two-and-a-half years ago.

Two-thirds of people who take medication go for tranquillisers with four out of ten on anti-depressants.

Up to a third take sedatives to improve their sleep.

75% of respondents who medicate say that it is directly linked to work.

The main trigger is down excessive workloads, with 45% pointing to poor recognition for the job they do and 38% blame it on a poor work environment including conflicts and cases of harassment.

21% of those who take drugs say that problems with dealing with members of the public have an impact on them and the same number blame emotional ‘wear and tear’ down to job insecurity if they are on temporary contracts.

Asked whether staff believed their work is sufficiently valued, 88% of those surveyed gave a resounding ‘no’!

The CSIF has used the survey result to criticise Spain for its low spending on mental health, which they claim is below the average of most advanced economies.

It added that waiting lists to see a psychiatrist were too long and there was no strategy for early detection in primary care.

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