OM: 18% Of Unemployed Adults Have Addiction Disorder

18% Of Unemployed Adults Have Addiction Disorder

Open Minds December 30, 2013

 

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During 2012, about 18.1% of unemployed adults aged 18 or older reported using illegal drugs in the past month, representing 2.5 million of the approximately 13.5 million unemployed adults seeking work. Among employed adults about 9% used illegal drugs, representing 14.5 million of the 144 million adults age 16 and older with full-time or part-time jobs. The estimates include people with co-occurring mental illness and addiction disorder. Illegal drug use rates were lowest among full-time workers (8.9%) than among part-time (12.5%) or unemployed (18.1%) workers.

 

The findings were reported in “National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Summary of National Findings 2012” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The NSDUH is an annual nationally representative survey of about 67,500 people age 12 and older. The national summary report was released in September 2013. The NSDUH obtains information on nine categories of illicit drug use and alcohol. Illicit drug use includes illegal substances (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens), inhalants, and non-medical use of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. Use of over-the-counter drugs and legitimate use of prescription drugs are not included in the estimates.

 

The survey asks about past-month use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol, lifetime use, past year and lifetime treatment episodes, and collects demographic information, including employment status. A related NSDUH report, “Results From The 2012 National Survey On Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings” released in December 2013 provides additional information about addiction disorder co-occurring with mental health disorders.

 

An estimated 21.5 million adults age 18 and older used illegal drugs in the past month, and 14.6 million (67.9%) were employed in a full- or part-time job; 2.5 million were unemployed; and 4.4 million were not in the workforce or looking for work for various reasons (including disability, retirement, being a full-time student, or being a caregiver to a child or a disabled family member).

 

A table in the national findings report, “Past Month Illicit Drug Use Among Persons Aged 18 Or Older, By Employment Status,” provided the following additional findings on the general topic of illegal drug use in the past month among unemployed adults stratified by employment status:

 

  • The percentage of adults employed full time who were current illicit drug users increased between 2011 (8.0%, representing 9.3 million workers) and 2012 (8.9%, representing 10.5 million workers).
  • The prevalence of past month illicit drug use among those employed part time was 11.6% (3.8 million) in 2011 and 12.5% (4.1 million) in 2012. The difference was not identified as statistically significant.
  • The prevalence of past month illicit drug use among the unemployed was 17.2% (2.3 million) in 2011 and 18.1% (2.5 million) in 2012. The difference was not identified as statistically significant.
  • The prevalence of past month illicit drug use among those with other employment status was 6.4% (4.5 million) in 2011 and 6.3% (4.4 million) in 2012. The difference was not identified as statistically significant.

 

According to the related NSDUH report, “Results From The 2012 National Survey On Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings” about 8.0% of unemployed adults age 18 and older had co-occurring mental illness and addiction disorder. Among employed adults, 3.4% of full-time workers and 4.1% of part-time workers had co-occurring disorders.

 

A link to the full text of “National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Summary of National Findings 2012” may be found in The OPEN MINDS Circle Library atwww.openminds.com/library/091513nsduh2012.htm

A link to the full text of “Results From The 2012 National Survey On Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings” may be found in The OPEN MINDS Circle Library atwww.openminds.com/library/120113results.htm

OPEN MINDS also reported on this topic in “20% Of Young Adults Used Illegal Drugs In 2012.” The article is available at www.openminds.com/market-intelligence/premium/omol/2013/110413mhcd1.htm

 

For more information, contact: Nora Younes, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 8-1029, Rockville, Maryland 20857; 240-276-2130; Fax: 240-276-2135; E-mail: nora.younes@samhsa.hhs.gov; Website: www.samhsa.gov; or Brad W. Stone, Director, Office of Communications, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 8-1029, Rockville, Maryland 20857; 240-276-2130; Fax: 240-276-2135; E-mail: Bradford.Stone@SAMHSA.hhs.gov; Website: www.samhsa.gov