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Substance Abuse during the Pandemic: Implications for Labor-Force Participation

, Emory University

Abstract: The labor-force participation rates of prime-age U.S. workers dropped in March 2020-the start of the COVID-19 pandemic-and have still not fully recovered. At the same time, substance-abuse deaths were elevated during the pandemic relative to trend indicating an increase in the number of substance abusers, and abusers of opioids and crystal methamphetamine have lower labor-force participation rates than non-abusers.
Keywords: pandemic / substance abusers / labor force participation rates / workers

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