Research Article

Unemployment and illegal drug use: concordant evidence from a prospective study and national trends.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.293.6552.929 (Published 11 October 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:929
  1. D F Peck,
  2. M A Plant

    Abstract

    Data from a previous study of 1036 young people in the Lothian region that indicated an association between unemployment and illegal drug use were examined in more depth to investigate the inter-relation between duration of unemployment and the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. After factors such as social class background and educational qualifications had been taken into account a weak but significant association was found between duration of unemployment and illegal drug use. No such association was found for alcohol or tobacco. Similar results were obtained from an analysis of national statistics related to unemployment and illegal drug use. Both sets of data thus indicate that illegal drug use is moderately associated with unemployment.