The Great Recession which officially began in December 2007 has had a devastating impact on the world's economy. Along with the spectacular collapse of financial markets and mass layoffs, workers in most industries are plagued by job uncertainty and financial worries. While the recession technically ended in 2009, lingering problems with unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, and job uncertainty continue to affect millions of people worldwide. A 2014 opinion poll by Hart Research Associates reflects the general lack of confidence in the economic recovery with 57 percent of Americans reporting their belief that the recession was still underway as of March 2014. As the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the the psychological effect will likely remain with us for many years to come.
But is this economic uncertainty leading to greater alcohol use in U.S. workers? A new research study published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors suggests that it is. The link between kind of stress faced by employees during a recession and alcohol consumption tends to be difficult to determine at times. While workers facing job loss or greater workload due to employee cutbacks often drink more, loss of income can also lead to reduced spending on alcohol since it is deemed to be less important than basic needs such as food and shelter.
To read more, check out my new contribution to the Huffington Post.