The University of Miami Health Services Research Center recently collected extensive community-based information on chronic drug users (CDUs) and non-drug users (NDUs) to examine differences in health services utilization, access, and cost. The survey instrument contains information on demographics, health status, lifestyle behaviors, and labor market activities. It also includes the 20-item Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). The primary objective of the proposed small grant application is to use this unique set of data to analyze the relationships between drug use and depression among CDUs and NDUs, and the effects of these conditions on labor market decisions. Some researchers have examined the relationships between drug use labor market problems, but no study has used community-based data to investigate the co-occurring and confounding effects of depression and drug use on labor market behavior. This research project will pursue the following specific aims: 1. Examine the prevalence of CDU, depression, and the comorbid conditions of CDU and depression in a community-based sample of individuals. 2. Estimate the main and interaction effects of CDU and depression on the probability of employment. 3. Conditional on being employed, estimate the main and interaction effects of CDU and depression on the number of weeks worked during the past 12 months. The proposed study will provide support for the investigators (including Dr. Alexandre, an African American health economist who qualifies as a newer, less experienced investigator) to use a unique set of data to examine the relationships between drug use, depression, and labor supply. Since employers and policymakers are not well informed about the co-occurring and confounding effects of drug use and depression on the labor market, the research and policy importance of this application is immediate and widespread. CDUs as a group have been singled out for intervention and extended study by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Moreover, mental health problems in the United States have become a challenge to communities, health and social service agencies, managed care organizations, employers, and families. The resulting findings will help policy makers and employers make decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources between workplace drug control programs and other alternatives such as improving employees' mental health.
|Alexandre, Pierre Kebreau; Roebuck, M Christopher; French, Michael T et al. (2003) The cost of residential addiction treatment in public housing. J Subst Abuse Treat 24:285-90|