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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2014 July-August;173(7-8):417-25
Use of psychotropic drugs in merchant seafarers and medicolegal considerations
Ricci S. 1, Salesi M. 2, Petrone L. 1, Ricci P. 1, Onofri E. 1, Massoni F. 1
1 Dipartimento di Scienze Anatomiche Istologiche Medico legali e dell’Apparato locomotore, Università “La Sapienza” di Roma, Roma, Italia;
2 Dipartimento Sanità Pubblica e Medicina di Comunità, Università di Verona, Verona, Italia
AIM: The work on merchant ships has always been associated with higher risk of fatal accidents and occupational diseases and, specifically, what characterizes the work at sea is the presence of a complex set of stressors that can affect the mental health of the people of sea. The authors present a study of the prevalence of psychopathological disorders and use of psychotropic drugs among Italian merchant ships long distance seafarers, analyzing, from a medicolegal point of view, their administration, sometimes necessary in the employment context, as well as the risk factors associated with the modality, the seat and the conditions in which this work takes place.
METHODS: We selected 600 workers who did never abuse alcohol or drugs and with apparent good physical health, interviewing them with the aid of a questionnaire.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The analysis of the data collected showed that 78.3% of seafarers uses psychotropic drugs of which 53.3% is part of the deck section and 46.7% of the engine room. It was found that the psychotropic drugs most frequently consumed are anxiolytics (78.5%) and antidepressants (21.5%). Taking these drugs occurs without medical supervision, and in emergency situations while sailing the captain gives them, which although it has minimal rudiments of medicine, is not in a position to know the methods of consumption and especially the interruption manner of potentially dangerous drugs such as psychotropic drugs.