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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Unemployment Leads to Substance Abuse

Economic hardship is a burden that most families encounter at some point, with loss of jobs and homes being foreclosed upon on the rise. A new report conducted by the government has shown that 17 percent of unemployed workers have problems with substance abuse. That rate is almost double the 9 percent of full-time workers with a substance abuse disorder, according to CNNMoney.

Addictions to alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs were included in the survey.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, responsible for the self-reported survey, it is more than likely, the article points out, that the rate of unemployed people with substance use disorders is even higher.

Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis believe that unemployment leads people to substance abuse, not the other way around. “During episodes of large increases in unemployment, the number of drug users can increase dramatically.”

Unemployment gives people more time and less money to pay for drugs and alcohol, yet they have more time to use, creating a vicious cycle. “Among those who are unemployed, the leisure effect is dominating the income effect,” University of Miami researcher Michael French told CNN Money. “We find that when the unemployment rate increases, all else equal, drinking increases.”
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