Unemployment isn’t just a cause for financial concern. According to a study conducted by the Lancet Medical Journal, there is also direct correlation between unemployment and an increase in suicides, homicides, and alcohol abuse.
The study found that a rise of 3 percent in unemployment is associated with a 28 percent increase in deaths from alcohol abuse and a 4.5 percent increase in suicides in the population younger than age 65. “Suicides are just the tip of the iceberg” said lead author David Stuckler, PhD, of the University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “Rising suicide rates are a sign of many failed suicide attempts and high levels of mental distress among workers and families.”
With U–6 unemployment figures hovering at just under 14%, this is a substantial risk. Employers need to be aware of the signs of substance abuse because workers often turn to alcohol or drugs during times of stress. That goes for current employees as well as potential new-hires because current employees may be concerned about the stability of their own job while potential new-hires may have been abusing alcohol or drugs to cope with their unemployment.
For help ensuring that your employees are alcohol and drug free, which improves health, productivity, and safety, contact one of our compliance specialists today!