Addiction And Low-Income Americans — How Does Addiction Impact Low-Income Americans?

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Addiction Center

Although there is no evidence that demonstrates cause and effect between poverty and addiction, studies have shown that substance abuse is more common among individuals of lower economic status. Poverty in the United States is measured by comparing a person’s or a family’s income to a minimum amount of income needed to cover basic needs. People who cannot cover their basic needs, or who struggle to make ends meet, may be considered to be living in a low-income household or in poverty. Financial struggles among low-income Americans often result from substance abuse when a person spends their money trying to maintain their addiction.

Unemployment And Addiction

Addiction does not discriminate based on socioeconomic status, but someone with a stable income is less likely to have an addiction than someone with no financial security. Years’ worth of data shows that addiction rates are twice as high among the unemployed than among those who have jobs; in many cases, the stress of unemployment leads to substance abuse. Addiction also increases the likelihood that a person will have problems performing at work, and this can lead to job loss and even lower income. Being fired for job performance can make it more difficult to find new employment, increasing overall stress and risk of substance abuse. Low-income Americans who struggle with drug or alcohol dependence may also struggle with job security, making it harder to escape the cycle of addiction.