substance use and job loss

A recent study investigating the association between substance use and job loss reports increasing job loss as substance use increases.

Previous research has revealed that unemployed people are more likely to use alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco. However, a recent study flipped this around to investigate whether those who use these substances are more likely to lose their jobs and whether there were any other associated factors, such as type of occupation or other sociodemographic factors.

Recently published in PLOS ONE, the study assessed a population of working individuals taken from the French population-based CONSTANCES cohort. Almost 19,000 participants were included between 2012 and 2016. At the beginning of the study, participants’ alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco use were assessed.

The study reported that the use of either alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis was associated with subsequent job loss. This association increased as substance use increased. The association was constant over a three-year follow-up period and was not affected when taking into account other sociodemographic or occupational components.

The researchers concluded that “Alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use were independently associated with job loss at short-term, with dose-dependent relationships. This knowledge will help refining information and prevention strategies. Importantly, even moderate levels of alcohol, tobacco or cannabis use are associated with job loss at short-term and all sociodemographic and occupational positions are potentially concerned.”


Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD


Reference: Airagnes G, Lemogne C, Meneton P, Plessz M, Goldberg M, Hoertel N, et al. (2019) Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use are associated with job loss at follow-up: Findings from the CONSTANCES cohort. PLoS ONE 14(9): e0222361.

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