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Math IA
Unemployment and drug use are often related to each other. When a person
uses drugs it decreases their productivity and their chances of landing a job at all. But conversely if a person is unemployed than their unstructured time increases and their financial strain as well which increases the likelihood of drug consumption. So through this it can be inferred that a nationwide increase in unemployment would lead to a national increase in substance abuse as well. Employment keeps us busy and lessens our financial stress and strain which is why many people rely so heavily on employment to keep them away from substance abuse. My aim for this exploration is to gain a deeper understanding of the desperation and strain put on an unemployed individual’s mind that can lead them to the consumption of narcotics. I want to do this because substance abuse is prevalent in our society and an understanding of one of the factors that leads to it might increase my knowledge and possibly change my perspective as to why people become addicted to drugs.
The graph below is the percent of the population under varying levels of employment that have consumed any illegal substance in the last month. Ranging from employed, part-time employed, unemployed, and other.

This graph is a perfect representation of the strain that people are put under when they are unemployed and how when either unemployment or drug abuse starts the other becomes much more likely to follow. Along with that the specific and incremental increase in free time conversely leads to the same increases in substance use.
The table below is a detailed look into the comparisons between the percentage of unemployed individuals versus employed individuals, the varying percentage at which they they abuse different substances, and separating younger adults from older adults in their statistics.

Unemp.
Employed
Unemp.
Employed
Unemp.
Employed
Unemp.
Employed
Employed

% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
% (S.E.)
Heavy Alcohol Use
13.4 (0.64)
8.5 (0.14)†
11.4 (0.59)
8.5 (0.14)†
12.6 (1.06)
8.7(0.23)***
11.2 (0.58)
8.4 (0.16)†
8.7(0.23)***
Heavy Alc Use, age 18-25
16.4 (0.68)
15.8 (0.24)
14.6 (0.64)
16.2 (0.25)*
15.4 (0.96)
15.5 (0.44)
13.5 (0.57)
14.6 (0.31)
15.5 (0.44)
Heavy Alc Use, age 26-64
12.1 (0.90)
7.4 (0.16)†
9.9 (0.85)
7.4 (0.16)*
11.6 (1.58)
7.7 (0.27)*
10.5 (0.83)
7.6 (0.19)***
7.7 (0.27)*
Illicit Drug Use
18.3 (0.71)
8.5 (0.13)†
17.9 (0.72)
8.8 (0.14)†
19.5 (1.32)
8.5 (0.24)†
17.2 (0.66)
8.9 (0.18)†
8.5 (0.24)†
Tobacco Use
49.4 (1.10)
33.8 (0.26)†
49.9 (1.05)
33.1 (0.26)†
47.3 (1.83)
32.0 (0.46)†
45.6 (0.98)
30.3 (0.31)†
32.0 (0.46)†
Alcohol Abuse or Dependence
15.3 (0.72)
9.0 (0.13)†
14.4 (0.73)
9.0 (0.13)†
14.7 (1.04)
9.1 (0.25)†
12.4 (0.57)
8.3 (0.16)†
9.1 (0.25)†
Alcohol Ab/Dep, age 18-25/
19.7 (0.72)
18.0 (0.23)*
17.9 (0.73)
18.2 (0.25)
20.0 (1.11)
18.1 (0.42)
16.2 (0.65)
16.9 (0.30)
18.1 (0.42)
Alcohol Ab/Dep, age 26-64
13.4 (1.03)
7.6 (0.15)†
12.6 (1.05)
7b.6 (0.15)†
12.3 (1.48)
7.9 (0.29)**
10.8 (0.81)
7.1 (0.18)†
7.9 (0.29)**
Illicit Drug Abuse or Dependence
7.9 (0.50)
2.8 (0.07)†
8.8 (0.50)
2.6 (0.07)†
8.6 (0.80)
2.6 (0.11)†
6.6 (0.37)
2.5 (0.08)†
2.6 (0.11)†
Unemployment
5.0 (0.10)A
4.6 (0.10)A
5.6 (0.20)A
9.2 (0.18)

2002-2004
2005-2007
2008
2009-2010

The biggest takeaway from this table is that not one of the percentages of employed substance abuse is larger than its unemployed counterpart which shows the reality that you are much more likely to abuse drugs/alcohol when unemployed. Another major factor in the results of this table is the economic crash and its lack of altering the percentage of substance abusers. This shows that despite it being much more likely for an individual to use illicit substances and develop disorders it is not a guarantee and despite the unemployment rate going up roughly 4% in 2009 it did not affect the percentage of substance abusers.
Logit(p/1 ? p)it = B0 + B1Xit + B2Xi + ?BjXj + ui
” Equation 1 below shows the model specifications, where (p/1-p) is the
measure of substance use for each participant i at time t (heavy episodic alcohol use, cannabis use, cigarette smoking); B0 is the intercept term; B1Xit is the measure of unemployment for each participant i at time t; B2Xi is the measure of childhood socioeconomic status; ?BjXj is the set of fixed covariate factors; and ui is the individual-specific error term. The model also included a term representing time (not shown).” In order for a formula for this topic to be accurate it would need to take in all of the variables that affect the statistics. Covariate means the control variables that increase the accuracy of the formula. This equation takes into account the type of substance being abused, whether or not the individual is unemployed or not, and the financial situation that the person was raised under.
Unemployment and substance abuse can both cause the other in many
different circumstances. A person is more likely to use substances and then subsequently develop a substance use disorder if they are unemployed. Not only the development but the chance of relapsing in a treated and recovered abuser/addict is
To conclude, substance abuse is about as serious of an issue in the United
States as there is. From It affects so many at many different ages and varying backgrounds. There are so many reasons people choose to start using and develop disorders. Unemployment is one of the most avoidable and trivial factors. People deserve to be able to earn money for themselves and their loved ones and the fact that if you aren’t given that opportunity people tend to turn to drugs for comfort and stress relief (which only decreases their future chances of landing a job) is heartbreaking. With so little to be relied upon in America these days being able to keep a steady job and avoid the devastatingly powerful thing that is substance abuse we must do what we can to keep as many people as possible employed.

Work Cited
Lee, Jungeun Olivia, et al. “Unemployment and Substance Use Problems
among Young Adults: Does Childhood Low Socioeconomic Status Exacerbate the Effect?” Social Science & Medicine, vol. 143, 2015, pp. 36–44., doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.08.016.
Henkel, Dieter. “Unemployment and Substance Use: A Review of the
Literature (1990-2010).” Current Drug Abuse Reviews, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan. 2011, pp. 4–27., doi:10.2174/1874473711104010004.
Compton, Wilson M., et al. “Unemployment and Substance Outcomes in the
United States 2002–2010.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 142, 2014, pp. 350–353., doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.06.012.
Badel, Alejandro, and Brian Greaney. “Exploring the Link between Drug
Use and Job Status in the U.S.” The Link Between Drug Use and Job Status in the U.S. | St. Louis Fed, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 25 June 2018, www.stlouisfed.org/publications/regional-economist/july-2013/exploring-the-link-between-drug-use-and-job-status-in-the-us.
Öster, Anna, and Jonas Agell. “Crime and Unemployment in Turbulent
Times.” Journal of the European Economic Association, vol. 5, no. 4, Jan. 2007, pp. 752–775., doi:10.1162/jeea.2007.5.4.752.
Ayllón, Sara, and Natalia N. Ferreira-Batista. “Unemployment, Drugs and
Attitudes among European Youth.” Journal of Health Economics, vol. 57, 2018, pp. 236–248., doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.08.005.
Nagelhout, Gera E., et al. “How Economic Recessions and Unemployment
Affect Illegal Drug Use: A Systematic Realist Literature Review.” International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 44, 2017, pp. 69–83., doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.03.013.

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