Berlin (dpa) - According to a study, almost two percent of employees in Germany take performance-enhancing medication or other mood-enhancing agents. Such "brain doping" without medical need is still at a level like 2014, according to an analysis by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit.
According to an analysis of survey data from 2018/2019, 1.8 percent of employees say they have used such preparations regularly in the past twelve months - twice a month and more often.
Use is therefore more widespread the older the surveyed employees are. The highest proportion was found in 60- to 65-year-olds, at 4.4 percent, who had used such drugs at least once in the past twelve months. In the survey, the survey indicated 2.5 percent of the 18- to 29-year-olds. These are prescription substances that are actually used to treat depression or behavioral disorders such as ADHD.
According to the analysis, the basic knowledge about such opportunities for «brain doping» is increasing. While almost 45 percent of those surveyed knew this in 2008, it is now 71.5 percent. The most frequently mentioned motive is to achieve goals better or that the work is supposed to be easier. For the study, data from a survey was evaluated, in which more than 5,500 employees aged between 18 and 65 were interviewed from December 2018 to January 2019.
Such drug abuse is "not a mass phenomenon," said DAK boss Andreas Storm. However, work requirements should not tempt employees to want to achieve better results with the help of medication.
As the Bundestag's scientific service explained in an analysis, it is warned of the risks of using such pharmaceutical products for these purposes. So far, however, there has been a lack of studies that analyze the long-term effects and side effects of healthy people - and not only of sick people for whom the medication is approved. In addition, there are other “stimulants” such as coffee, black tea, caffeine tablets or energy drinks - and healthy ways to promote performance: with sport, meditation or yoga.