Unemployment and substance use: a review of the literature (1990-2010).

Institute of Addiction Research, University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
Current Drug Abuse Reviews 04/2011; 4(1):4-27. DOI: 10.2174/1874473711104010004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The current article summarizes the results of a comprehensive review of the international research published between 1990 and 2010. The research was focused on the prevalence of substance use/disorders among the unemployed and employed, the impact of substance abuse on unemployment and vice versa, the effect of unemployment on alcohol/ drug addiction treatment and smoking cessation, and the relationship between business cycle, unemployment rate and substance use. Over hundred-thirty relevant studies were identified investigating these issues. The main results are as follows: (1) Risky alcohol consumption (associated with hazardous, binge, and heavy drinking) is more prevalent among the unemployed. They are also more likely to be smokers, to use illicit and prescription drugs, and to have alcohol and drug disorders (abuse, dependence). (2) Problematic substance use increases the likelihood of unemployment and decreases the chance of finding and holding down a job. (3) Unemployment is a significant risk factor for substance use and the subsequent development of substance use disorders. However, the current research provides only limited information about which individuals are more likely to be affected. (4) Unemployment increases the risk of relapse after alcohol and drug addiction treatment. (5) The exact nature of the relationship between unemployment and the probability of smoking cessation remains unclear due to the mixed results observed in the literature review. (6) Drinking and smoking patterns appear to be procyclical. We see a decrease in both when the economy declines and the unemployment rate increases. In contrast, a countercyclical trend was observed amongst adolescent drug users. However, these studies do not provide any convincing or additional information about substance use amongst the unemployed. This paper discusses the merits, limitations and problems of the research, proposes numerous future research questions, and outlines important implications for policy makers and practitioners, especially with regard to prevention and vocational promotion and rehabilitation.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Participating in working life is im- portant for most peoples’ economy, self-confi- dence, independence, social life, and feeling of belonging. Persons with co-occurring severe mental health difficulties and substance use problems have challenges in entering working life. Objective: The aim of the study was to ex- plore the importance of work and activity for the recovery of persons with co-occurring severe mental health difficulties and substance use problems and to determine the significant ele- ments that aid them in getting into work and/or meaningful activities. Methods: A professional development program was conducted to explore how following-up on these persons could lead to participation in working life. The data were col- lected through qualitative interviews with 24 participants, and with 25 of those carrying out the follow-up. Results: The participants de-scribed the benefit from the follow-up as well. They expressed enthusiasm for work and voca- tional training, although they all did not obtain work. Many had a better life, with more daily structure and less substance abuse. The per- sonal encounter between the helper and the participant was ascribed crucial importance— being respected and valued, being relied on, and being able to be honest were considered sig- nificant. Conclusions: The participants valued work and regular activities, a more structured life, decreased drug abuse, and altogether a better life. The helpers’ respect, recognition and their ability to see dignity through wretchedness and broken agreements were important. The participants emphasized the importance of get- ting help for different problems from different helpers at the same time, and the providers’ in- terdisciplinary collaboration in teams was es-sential. It seems that the supported employ- ment philosophy on speedy job seeking ought to be adapted to this target group and that prior social training may be necessary.
    Health 01/2013; 5(No.6A2):78-86. DOI:10.4236/health.2013.56A2012 · 2.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years, there have been increasing accounts of illegal substance abuse among university students and professional groups in Malaysia. This study looks at university students' perceptions about this phenomenon. Students from Malaysian universities were asked for their impressions about drug availability and abuse, as well as factors contributing to drug abuse and relapse. The questionnaire also inquired into their knowledge and views regarding government versus private rehabilitation centers, as well as their exposure to, and views about, school-based drug-prevention education. Participants were 460 university students from five Malaysian states: Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, and Sarawak. Results showed gender differences in perceptions of relapse prevention strategies, as well as factors leading to drug abuse and relapse. Students also believed that drug education would be more effective if initiated between the ages of 11 and 12 years, which is slightly older than the common age of first exposure, and provided suggestions for improving existing programs. Implications of student perceptions for the improvement of current interventions and educational programs are discussed.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 05/2015; DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00065
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Injection drug use, infectious disease, and incarceration are inextricably linked in Russia. We aimed to identify factors associated with time to relapse (first opioid injection after release from prison) and using a non-sterile, previously used syringe at relapse in a sample of people who inject drugs in St. Petersburg. We collected data on time from release to relapse among individuals with a history of incarceration, a subsample of a larger study among people who inject drugs. Proportional hazards and logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with time to relapse and injection with a non-sterile previously used syringe at relapse, respectively. The median time to relapse after release was 30 days. Factors that were independently associated with relapsing sooner were being a native of St. Petersburg compared to not being native (AHR: 1.64; 95% CI 1.15-2.33), unemployed at relapse compared to employed (AHR: 4.49; 95% CI 2.96-6.82) and receiving a previous diagnosis of HBV and HCV compared to no previous diagnosis (AHR: 1.49; 95% CI 1.03-2.14). Unemployment at relapse was also significant in modeling injection with a non-sterile, previously used syringe at relapse compared to those who were employed (AOR: 6.80; 95% CI 1.96-23.59). Unemployment was an important correlate for both resuming opioid injection after release and using a non-sterile previously used syringe at relapse. Linkage to medical, harm reduction, and employment services should be developed for incarcerated Russian people who inject drugs prior to release. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 12/2014; 147. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.11.021 · 3.28 Impact Factor