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The impact of the 2008 economic crisis on substance use patterns in the countries of the European Union

Dom, Geert, Samochowiec, Jerzy, Evans-Lacko, Sara, Wahlbeck, Kristian, Van Hal, Guido and McDaid, David (2016) The impact of the 2008 economic crisis on substance use patterns in the countries of the European Union. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13 (1). p. 122. ISSN 1661-7827

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Identification Number: 10.3390/ijerph13010122

Abstract

Background: From 2008 on, a severe economic crisis (EC) has characterized the European Union (E.U.). However, changes in substance use behavioral patterns as a result of the economic crisis in Europe, have been poorly reflected upon, and underlying mechanisms remain to be identified; Methods: In this review we explore and systematize the available data on the effect of the 2008 economic crisis on patterns of substance use and related disorders, within the E.U. countries; Results: The results show that effects of the recession need to be differentiated. A number of studies point to reductions in population’s overall substance use. In contrast, an increase in harmful use and negative effects is found within specific subgroups within the society. Risk factors include job-loss and long-term unemployment, and pre-existing vulnerabilities. Finally, our findings point to differences between types of substances in their response on economic crisis periods; Conclusions: the effects of the 2008 economic crisis on substance use patterns within countries of the European Union are two-sided. Next to a reduction in a population’s overall substance use, a number of vulnerable subgroups experience serious negative effects. These groups are in need of specific attention and support, given that there is a real risk that they will continue to suffer negative health effects long after the economic downfall has formally been ended.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Research centres and groups > Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU)
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 11:16
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 02:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/65068

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