Seeing that we spend most of our time at work, it is impossible to overemphasize our jobs’ ability to shape our lifestyles. One of the habits people pick up in the course of their day-to-day undertakings is substance use. Americanmarijuana.org went out to find out more about the trends relating to drug users and how they are distributed across occupations. We collected this information from governmental data sources and put together some of the major takeaways below.
Substance Use Disorder Rate by Profession
People working in the Accommodation and Food Services sector have the highest rate of substance use disorder of all the professions at 17.4%. They are followed closely by those in Construction who have 17.3% substance use disorder rate. At 5%, professionals in Education services are the least likely to have substance use disorders while those in Health and Social Assistance have the second lowest prevalence at 6.4%.
The following are the detailed rates of substance abuse, by occupation:
|Accommodations and food services||17.4|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||13.0|
|Real estate, rental and leasing||11.2|
|Finance and insurance||10.0|
|Transportation and warehousing||9.9|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting||9.6|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||9.4|
|Healthcare and social assistance||6.4|
Now the question is: Are professionals in lower income jobs more likely to have substance use disorder than those with higher incomes? In the following section, we went to U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS to check the average annual income in every listed industry, then compared them against cases of substance use disorder in the profession to establish any possible link between prevalence of substance use disorder and income.
Links between Salary and Substance Use
We found that people in Accommodation and Food Services have the highest substance use disorder rate (17.4%) for the lowest salary ($23,595/year).
People in Management are fourth in the list of the highest drug users, but their annual income is also the highest ($97,152). Those whose occupations fall under the category of Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services have the second-highest income of all the occupations with $90,341/year. Still, they are the fifth-lowest when it comes to substance use (9.4%).
The takeaway from this is that the amount of income, whether low or high, doesn’t determine the possibility of a person using substances one way or another.
Links between Mental Illness and Substance Use
Mental illness is often associated with substance use. In some instances, it is speculated that some mental diseases such as bipolar and schizophrenia make people more inclined towards substance abuse. We sought to determine whether there is a clear-cut relationship between mental illness and substance abuse. The findings below show the professions with the highest cases of serious mental illness, which is reported by U.S National Institutes of Health, compared with the level of substance abuse.
People in the Construction industry are second-highest in substance use, but they have among the lowest cases of mental illness (2.5%). Professionals in Public Administration are the third lowest substance users among the professions listed, but they have among the highest levels of severe mental illness. This is mirrored by those whose occupation is in Utilities. They have some of the lowest cases of substance use, and also the second lowest mental illness rate with 1.5%. Education is particularly interesting; because despite having the lowest rate of substance use disorder, it also has numerous cases of severe mental illness (8.1%).
*Detailed Serious Mental Illness rate and SUD rate, by Occupation:
|Occupation||Serious Mental Illness rate (%)||SUD rate (%)|
|Accommodations and food services||- data unavailable -||17.4|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||3.6||13.0|
|Real estate, rental and leasing||- data unavailable -||11.2|
|Information||- data unavailable -||10.8|
|Finance and insurance||- data unavailable -||10.0|
|Transportation and warehousing||4.2||9.9|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting||0.3||9.6|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||10.3||9.4|
|Healthcare and social assistance||- data unavailable -||6.4|
Links between Suicide and Substance Abuse
In the quest to establish a relationship between SUD and suicide, we found the following:
- Workers in Education industry has lowesy substance use and lowest cases of suicide with only 6.6 cases per 100,000 working persons.
- People in Mining industry are among the most likely to commit suicide, and they also have the highest SUD rate.
- Those working in Utilities have low rates of SUD but high suicide rates (26.3 cases per 100,000).
- In the Wholesale industry, employees have high rates of SUD and low suicide rates.
*Detailed Suicide rate and SUD rate, by Occupation:
|Occupation||Suicide rate (per 100,000 people)||SUD rate (%)|
|Accommodations and food services||15.35||17.4|
|Management||- data unavailable -||13.8|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||18.55||13.0|
|Real estate, rental and leasing||11.85||11.2|
|Finance and insurance||10.55||10.0|
|Transportation and warehousing||19.95||9.9|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting||36.1||9.6|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||12||9.4|
|Healthcare and social assistance||13.1||6.4|
Links between Educational Attainment and Substance Use
Jobs that require a bachelor’s degree have the lowest cases of SUD, while those that need less than a high school diploma have the highest cases. It, therefore, appears that people with higher education use drugs less than those with lower education.
*Detailed Educational Attainment and SUD rate, by Occupation:
|Occupation||Educational Attainment||SUD rate (%)|
|Accommodations and food services||No formal educational credential||17.4|
|Construction||High school diploma or equivalent||17.3|
|Mining||High school diploma or equivalent||14.3|
|Management||High school diploma or equivalent||13.8|
|Wholesale trade||High school diploma or equivalent||13.4|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||No formal educational credential||13.0|
|Real estate, rental and leasing||High school diploma or equivalent||11.2|
|Retail trade||No formal educational credential||11.2|
|Manufacturing||High school diploma or equivalent||10.4|
|Finance and insurance||High school diploma or equivalent||10.0|
|Transportation and warehousing||High school diploma or equivalent||9.9|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting||No formal educational credential||9.6|
|Other services||High school diploma or equivalent||9.4|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||Bachelor's degree||9.4|
|Utilities||High school diploma or equivalent||9.1|
|Public administration||Bachelor's degree||6.5|
|Healthcare and social assistance||High school diploma or equivalent||6.4|
|Educational services||Bachelor's degree||5.0|
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