Joblessness and addiction go hand-in-hand.
It is difficult to get up and go to work every day when stuck in an addiction, although some people do manage to keep their jobs. Just as addiction can lead to joblessness, so can joblessness perpetuate addiction.
Statistics show that alcoholism and drug addiction are more prominent in the unemployed. The stress of not having a job makes it easier to stay in an addiction, and a sense of hopelessness can set in. According to the government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 17% of people who are unemployed have a substance abuse disorder, compared to 9% of people who work full-time. The numbers for drunk driving incidents increase 35% for every 1% increase in the unemployment rate.
These numbers cannot be ignored. Another National Survey on Drug Use and Health has followed the illicit drug use of the baby boomers. In 2002, 1.9% of 55-59 year-olds who were unemployed had an illicit drug problem. Ten years later, this number jumped to 6.6% for this age range, and the numbers were the same for the 50-54 age group. It is estimated that 5.7 million adults in the United States ages 50 and older will need alcohol or drug treatment by the year 2020.
Regardless of which came first, the tie between joblessness and addiction is real. Drug and alcohol treatment is the answer. The cost of drug and alcohol treatment is minimal compared to the cost of individuals continuing in addiction. If you or someone you love is out of work and also suffering from an addiction, now is the perfect time to get into treatment. Most drug and alcohol treatment centers also provide a social worker for each individual. There are professionals who will help people get back into the work force once they complete the drug or alcohol program. Don’t become a statistic. Help is available.