Princeton Economist: Nearly Half of U.S. Men Who Dropped Out of Workforce On Opioid Painkillersby KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ
Sep. 10, 2017
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The opioid crisis is growing in America, and it may be the reason many men are dropping and staying out of the workforce, according to a new study.
Nearly half of the men in the U.S. who dropped out of the workforce are on opioid painkillers, Princeton University economist Alan Krueger wrote in a Brookings Institute study released this week.
"The opioid crisis and depressed labor-force participation are now intertwined in many parts of the U.S.," Krueger wrote in the Brookings Institute study.
Krueger found that nearly half of the men surveyed "take pain medication on a daily basis, and in nearly two-thirds of these cases they take prescription pain medication."
"Labor force participation has fallen more in areas where relatively more opioid pain medication is prescribed," he wrote.
Krueger said the men surveyed took painkillers either as a result of being out of the workforce for a prolonged period or because they had a condition that required the use of painkillers and could not work because of the condition.
"The results of this survey underscore the role of pain in the lives on nonworking men, and the widespread use of prescription pain medication," he wrote. "Fully 47 percent of NLF (not in labor force) prime age men responded that they took pain medication on the previous day."