Impact of economic crises
Economic downturns lead to increases in unemployment, risk of social exclusion and risk of cuts to health and social welfare budgets, all of which could impact on the patterns and levels of use of illicit drugs. The relationship could be either pro-cyclical, drug use dropping in parallel with the economy, or counter-cyclical, moving in the opposite direction. Increased drug use could result from the stress of unemployment, and decreased drug use could be due to less disposable income. The main difficulty in examining effects of macroeconomic changes on drug use is the multiple factors that may cause changes in the prices, preferences or demand.
LEADER carried out a systematic review of the published and grey literature on the impact of economic downturns on legal and illegal drug use; as well as new empirical analyses to examine associations between changes in unemployment rates and changes in drug use and drug-related deaths, with the aim of determining their cyclical or non-cyclical nature; and a client reality check in which clinicians interview a number of clients in treatment around the impact of economic downturns on their drug-using behaviour. These have been combined in a single multi-methodological report on the impact of economic recessions on drug use (D2.1).
LEADER Economic crises video tutorials
Video 3. Introduction to LEADER Work Stream 2 - The impact of economic recessions on drug use
Video 4. The LEADER Realist Review on the impact of economic recessions on drug use
Video 5. The LEADER Client Reality Check on the impact of economic recessions on drug use.
Video 6. The LEADER Regression Analysis on the impact of economic recessions on drug use
Video 7. Conclusions from the combined LEADER WS2 studies on the impact of economic recessions on drug use
This integrated report includes the results of:
- Systematic realist review of the impact of economic recession on drug use
- Client Reality Check of drug users' perceptions and experiences of economic recession
- Regression analysis of the association between unemployment due to economic recessions and drug use and related harm