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Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being$
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Peter Anderson, Jürgen Rehm, and Robin Room

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714002.001.0001

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Impact of the economic recession on addiction-prone behaviours

Impact of the economic recession on addiction-prone behaviours

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter 8 Impact of the economic recession on addiction-prone behaviours
Source:
Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being
Author(s):

Aleksandra Dubanowicz

Paul Lemmens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714002.003.0008

The recent economic downturn has led to market instabilities, collapse of financial institutions, cuts in public spending, increase in overall unemployment rates, and a decrease of disposable income. Recession has an impact on people’s addictive behaviours. A literature review showed that, in general, consumption of alcohol and tobacco decline in times of crises, mainly due to the income effect, yet patterns of use alter and become more harmful. For illicit drug use evidence of both pro- and counter-cyclical change has been found. Research on gambling behaviour remains inconclusive, with a slight tendency towards a decline. The main mechanisms identified are effects of declining disposable income, changes in structure of everyday life due to unemployment and loss of social roles. Addiction experts identify vulnerable social categories, such as the unemployed, low-educated, addicts, and adolescents. The negative impacts of recessions are worsened by introduction of welfare cuts.

Keywords:   recession, economic downturn, addictive behaviours, alcohol, tobacco, illicit drug use, gambling, pro-cyclical change, counter-cyclical change, unemployment

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