Objective: To understand the experience and the reasons that led truck drivers to use psychoactive substances. Method: A descriptive study with a qualitative approach, performed by means of the technique in chains, guided by the theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism. Data was collected through interviews with 30 truck drivers, who transit through the entire Brazilian road network, from March to August 2016. For the elements analysis, thematic analysis was used as a strategy. Results: Three analytical categories emerged: “work development facilitator”; “health repercussions of psychoactive substances”; “behavioral changes and impact on interpersonal relationships”. It was verified that the truck driver’s professional trajectory interferes with his health, since it makes him vulnerable to the use of psychoactive substances. Conclusion: Maintaining health or promoting it should not only be the responsibility of the health sector, but the result of inter-sectional and multidisciplinary actions supported by healthy public policies.
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