School teachers becoming reliant on drugs to combat stress

School teachers becoming reliant on drugs to combat stress

  • April 2017
  • Posted By Kathryn Mccormick

A new study shows that some teachers are suffering so much stress at work, they are using drugs and stimulants to cope.

Organised by the NASUWT teaching union, the poll showed that 83% of school teachers believe their job has had a negative impact on their life during the last 12 months, affecting their wellbeing and general health. The poll included a list of potential stress-related symptoms, with 84% of respondents claiming to have experienced sleep loss, 54% anxiety, and 74% low energy levels. For drugs and stimulants, 22% claimed to have consumed alcohol more often, and 22% increased caffeine intake. Some, 19%, reported a loss of appetite and 11% began or increased taking antidepressants. Approximately 9% reported relationship breakdowns, and about 7% began or were taking greater quantities of, prescription drugs. Job satisfaction in the last year declined amongst 54% of those polled, 37% said their satisfaction level remained the same, while the rest claimed it improved.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said teaching is still a desirable profession and that they want to work with teachers, their unions and Ofsted to combat heavy workloads and, “challenge unhelpful practices that create extra work, including through an offer of targeted support to schools. Alongside this we are exploring ways to improve career progression for teachers to encourage them to stay in the profession. Where staff are struggling, we trust headteachers to take action to tackle the causes of stress and ensure they have the support they need.”


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