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Associations of employment status with opioid misuse: Evidence from a nationally representative survey in the U.S.


Matthews, Timothy A; Sembajwe, Grace; von Känel, Roland; Li, Jian (2022). Associations of employment status with opioid misuse: Evidence from a nationally representative survey in the U.S. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 151:30-33.

Abstract

The opioid crisis in the United States (U.S.) is widespread and increasing in severity, and psychosocial exposures have been identified as potential risk factors. We examined associations of employment status with opioid misuse in a large, nationally representative, population-based sample in the U.S. Data were from the 2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual cross-sectional survey. The association of employment status with opioid misuse in 40,143 participants was examined by multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, household income, educational attainment, medical insurance status, physical health conditions and depression. Analyses were weighted to represent a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. In NSDUH 2019, 3.82% of American individuals reported past-year opioid misuse. After taking relevant variables into account, compared to workers who were employed with normal working hours (35-40 h/week), those who were currently unemployed had higher odds of opioid misuse (fully adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were 1.40 [1.09, 1.79]). Compared to workers employed with normal working hours, those who were in school/training or retired had lower odds of opioid misuse. Short or long working hours were not associated with opioid misuse. Government and employer policy interventions may benefit from emphasizing stable employment as a major social determinant of health in the context of the opioid crisis.

Keywords: Drug misuse; Employment status; Opioids; Unemployment

Abstract

The opioid crisis in the United States (U.S.) is widespread and increasing in severity, and psychosocial exposures have been identified as potential risk factors. We examined associations of employment status with opioid misuse in a large, nationally representative, population-based sample in the U.S. Data were from the 2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual cross-sectional survey. The association of employment status with opioid misuse in 40,143 participants was examined by multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, household income, educational attainment, medical insurance status, physical health conditions and depression. Analyses were weighted to represent a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. In NSDUH 2019, 3.82% of American individuals reported past-year opioid misuse. After taking relevant variables into account, compared to workers who were employed with normal working hours (35-40 h/week), those who were currently unemployed had higher odds of opioid misuse (fully adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were 1.40 [1.09, 1.79]). Compared to workers employed with normal working hours, those who were in school/training or retired had lower odds of opioid misuse. Short or long working hours were not associated with opioid misuse. Government and employer policy interventions may benefit from emphasizing stable employment as a major social determinant of health in the context of the opioid crisis.

Keywords: Drug misuse; Employment status; Opioids; Unemployment

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biological Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Mental health
Language:English
Date:1 July 2022
Deposited On:27 Jan 2023 13:51
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3956
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.04.001
PubMed ID:35436703
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  • : FunderUniversity of California
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