I've never enjoyed being high on the job, and I'm not writing that just because I don't want to get fired. It's like one of the sources for this piece said: "Why waste a good time on work?"
However, according to a recent report, plenty of people use amphetamines and other drugs in an effort to boost their performance -- ADHD drugs alone are a $13 billion industry. That's a lot of high people in the workforce, which means there's a good chance that at least some of the people you interact with on a daily basis are in chemically altered states. So what does their drug use look like in practice? Here's what just a few of them had to say (some of the names changed or withheld, for obvious reasons).
Sometimes, drugs make "service with a smile" possible
"Marijuana helps me stay mellow when dealing with entirely stupid users." -- Jeremy, IT administrator
"I drink and occasionally smoke pot at work to relieve the stress of dealing with a physically demanding job and asshole customers. The staff also typically watches new movies the night before release, so it's an excuse to party." -- Johnny, movie theater manager/projectionist
"I never drank or used any kind of drugs at work until I had danced for eight years already. Personal stress induced the drinking, which came before the drugs. Two years after the drinking, I tried molly, coke, and Adderall at my job... I actually prefer Adderall more than anything else because it helped me feel full of nonstop energy and want to get things done. [Now] I've become used to drinking and working, so I've kind of conditioned myself to automatically want to drink when I step through the door of a strip club. But also, since I've been doing this for a while, I just don't have the temper, patience, or any remote desire to talk to these people. I don't care about them or their children, their lives, their wives... I just want their money. I've got one more year till I graduate college, and then I'll be out of this line of work that drives me to drink." -- Tati, stripper
Tedious jobs are more bearable when you're high
"I've had drinks on my lunch break. It helped me feel like my terrible, dead-end job wasn't so terrible, and also made me happier to be interacting with people at work, even though I didn't like them." -- Todd, durable medical equipment technician
"I use painkillers and Adderall because of the monotony of working in the French Quarter, around the worst people and attitudes our society has to offer. I've found that if I augment my perception through drugs, it makes it easier to go back the next day." -- Lena, bartender
"When I worked for a major airline in reservations in the late '70s and '80s, I smoked pot almost daily, before or on my way to work. Quaaludes were offered, regularly -- we called them quackers. Why, you ask? Why not? It was a very boring, monotonous job." -- Linda, airline reservationist
Chemicals can "jump-start" the workday
"Adderall helps me knock out all my work in half the time, plus I have fun while doing it. Everyone these days is getting diagnosed as ADD or ADHD -- you just have to go to the right doctor. So do I feel bad about buying a few pills off my friends? Absolutely not -- especially because I probably wouldn't be as good at my job without it." -- Courtney, marketing specialist