Unemployment and Addiction

Unemployment and Addiction
One of the major themes of the 2016 presidential election was employment. The issue of high unemployment in certain areas of the country rose to national prominence and President Trump promised to bring jobs to these communities. Various causes were cited for unemployment, including globalization, trade agreements, technology, and regulations. Yet there was one contributing factor that was not discussed: addiction. How are addiction and unemployment related? Late last year, Alan Krueger, an economist, published Where Have All the Workers Gone? This paper found that a large number of unemployed men of working age were taking prescription opioids. While the paper did not examine rates of substance use disorders, it is likely that there are higher rates of opioid addiction among this population. Addiction frequently prevents individuals from participating in active employment. In fact, untreated addiction creates a tremendous drag on the economy. If creating more jobs and improving the...
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