|April 2, 2004|
Employed Admissions: 2001
The employment status of substance abuse treatment admissions can be examined with the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). TEDS is an annual compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted for substance abuse treatment in the United States. This report compares the 464,000 admissions aged 19 to 64 who were employed (either full- or part-time)1 at the time of entry into substance abuse treatment with admissions who were "unemployed" at that time. For purposes of this report, "unemployed" includes both admissions looking for work and those not in the labor force.2
Of the admissions aged 19 to 64 reported to TEDS in 2001, 26 percent were employed full-time, 7 percent were employed part-time, 27 percent were looking for work, and 40 percent were not in the labor force (Figure 1). The employment status of this age group in the U.S. civilian population in 2001 was quite different. Fifty-seven percent were employed full-time, 8 percent were employed part-time, 3 percent were looking for work, and 32 percent were not in the labor force.3
Alcohol was the primary substance of abuse4 for the majority of all employed admissions (56 percent) but was reported less frequently as the primary substance for unemployed admissions (41 percent) (Figure 2). Other drugs, including opiates (24 vs. 14 percent) and cocaine (16 vs. 10 percent), were reported as primary substances more frequently among unemployed admissions than among employed admissions.
The percentage of females among unemployed admissions (34 percent) was similar to the percentage of females among all admissions (30 percent). However, females constituted a smaller proportion of employed admissions (22 percent). Among employed admissions, females also accounted for a smaller percentage of those employed full-time (19 percent) than those employed part-time (35 percent). Thus, a higher proportion of employed admissions were male than female.
Employed admissions were more likely to be White (69 vs. 53 percent) and less likely to be Black (16 vs. 29 percent) than unemployed admissions (Figure 3). The median age of employed and unemployed admissions was similar, 35 and 36, respectively.
Source of Referral
Employed admissions were more frequently referred by the criminal justice system than unemployed admissions (48 vs. 26 percent). Employed admissions were less likely than unemployed admissions to be self- or individually referred (31 vs. 41 percent). Among criminal justice referrals, employed admissions were three times more likely than unemployed admissions (16 vs. 5 percent) to have been referred as a result of arrests for "driving while intoxicated" (DWI) or "driving under the influence" (DUI) (Figure 4).5
Employed admissions were more likely than unemployed admissions to be first-time admissions (50 vs. 36 percent) and were only half as likely to have five or more previous treatment episodes (8 vs. 16 percent). The effect of employment was slightly magnified for those employed full-time. Those employed full-time were more likely than those employed part-time to be first-time admissions (51 vs. 47 percent) and were less likely to have five or more previous treatment episodes (7 vs. 12 percent).
Type of Treatment
Employed admissions more frequently received ambulatory, non-intensive outpatient treatment than unemployed admissions (64 vs. 38 percent).
* "Unemployed" includes admissions looking for work or not in the labor force.
1 "Full-time" employment is defined as working 35 or more hours each week.
2 Unemployed includes those seeking work as well as those considered not to be in the labor force (i.e., retired, student, etc.). Analysis of this variable includes admissions only over the age of 18.
3 Labor force statistics are unpublished annual data from the 2001 Current Population Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
4 The primary substance of abuse is the main substance reported at the time of admission.
5 The detailed reason for a criminal justice referral is a Supplemental Data Set item reported at the 75 percent response level in 2001 by 23 States and jurisdictions, including AZ, CO, DC, FL, HI, KS, KY, MA, MD, MS, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, and UT.
This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.