Drug abuse is one of the biggest problems any nation could face. With a growing industry of night shift workers, drug abuse has been a serious problem.
In the Philippines, reports about illegal drug trade among call center employees surfaced recently because of the nationwide anti-illegal drug campaign.
According to GMA News Online, drug pushers arrested in the Eastern Police District confessed that most of their customers are from call centers in the area.
Moreover, an Inquirer.net article dated in 2010 also reported that use of illegal drugs among other vices is adopted by employees in any call center environment.
In 2008, Dailymail.co.uk reported a growing evidence of call center staff smoking cannabis during working hours to combat sleepiness and stay alert during the whole graveyard shift. During this time, more than a 25% of call center workers use drugs according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Sleep Medicine. This study was conducted by a team led by Dr. J.C. Suri.
After years now, along with the growth of the industry is also the growth of drug addiction cases among call center agents in the Philippines and in other top call center destinations.
Why Call Center Agents?
In the case of methamphetamine, for example, the abuser is most likely to experience the so-called “tweaking” stage. According to Drugfreeworld.com, this a condition reached at the end of a drug binge when methamphetamine no longer provides a rush or a high. Unable to relieve the horrible feelings of emptiness and craving, an abuser loses his sense of identity and inability to sleep. With this, call center agents with drug addiction will have the ability to stand working the whole night shift.
In addition, Cannabis or marijuana is also a popular drug used to stay awake in the long hours of graveyard shift. But effects of the drug varies from person to person.
One more angle to look at the high rate of drug addicts in the BPO industry is the high salary. According to an article by Dailymail.co.uk, a former call center agent in Mumbai says that “it’s because of the money”. Being a call center agent gives them enough cash to buy and enough motivation to continue smoking joints because of the pressure and the late working hours.
Effects of Drug Abuse
The effects are usually seen and felt long-term. May it be physical or psychological, the longer an abuser stays as an abuser, the more irreversible its effects will be.
Here are some of the physical, neurological and emotional effects drug abuse can cause:
- Organ damage
- Hormone imbalance
- Prenatal and fertility issues
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Memory Loss
With these terrible effects, it’s better to think twice before smoking or sniffing on that next joint.