HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Opioid Use Responsible For 20 Percent Of Drop In American Men
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Sep 2017
Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
Copyright: 2017 The Morning Call Inc.
Contact: http://drugsense.org/url/DReo9M8z
Website: http://www.mcall.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/275
Author: Angel Phillip

OPIOID USE RESPONSIBLE FOR 20 PERCENT OF DROP IN AMERICAN MEN FROM
LABOR FORCE, STUDY FINDS

Opioid use by American men may account for one-fifth of the decline in
their participation in the U.S. labor force, according to a study by
Princeton University economist Alan Krueger.

"The opioid crisis and depressed labor-force participation are now
intertwined in many parts of the U.S.," Krueger, who was chief
economist at the Treasury Department in the Obama administration,
wrote in the study released Thursday at a Brookings Institution
conference in Washington.

Krueger's study linked county prescription rates to labor force data
from the past 15 years, concluding that regional differences in
prescription rates were due to variations in medical practices, not
health conditions. In previous research, he found that nearly half of
men in their prime worker ages not in the labor force take
prescription painkillers daily.

Krueger's study echoes previous research that attributes most of the
decline in labor force participation since the early 2000s to an aging
population and young people choosing school over work. The opioid
crisis is exacerbating the problem, Krueger wrote.

"Addressing the decades-long slide in labor force participation by
prime-age men should be a national priority," he wrote.

Economists have begun to pay more attention to the spread of
prescription painkillers and their link to the historically low
portion of prime-age people working. The unemployed are more likely to
misuse painkillers, according to test Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Administration data, and some end up committing crimes stemming
from their addiction that dim their employment outlooks.

"I do think it is related to declining labor-force participation among
prime-age workers," Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in a July
Senate hearing when asked about the crisis. "I don't know if it's
causal or if it's a symptom of long-running economic maladies that
have affected these communities and particularly affected workers who
have seen their job opportunities decline."
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