Economic recessions and unemployment: A path toward drug use

Kentucky and Rhode Island experienced some of the highest rates of fatal opioid overdoses in 2013, while simultaneously suffering from some the worst rates of unemployment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More researchers should focus on the effects of drug use and unemployment for future policy-relevant research instead of only analyzing the reasons behind the magnitude of this issue, she said. “An intervention or policy to prevent possible increases in illegal drug use cannot be properly designed when it is unknown which mechanisms this intervention or policy should target.”