A slew of reports finds a fresh reason for the chronic inability of American companies to fill skilled jobs: not a lack of skills, and hence a training-and-education crisis, but a surfeit of drug abuse. Simply put, prime-working age Americans without a college diploma are often too drugged-out to get the best jobs. Opioids remain at high levels, but the surge in drug use is now heroin and the powerful contaminant fentanyl.
The reports suggest a circularity to the crisis in America’s rust and manufacturing belts: the loss of jobs and wage stagnation has led to widespread disaffection, alienation and drug abuse; and drug abuse has led to joblessness, hopelessness and disaffection.
But the numbers are all over the map. Some employers and economists say up to half of job applicants do not clear drug tests; others say it is 25%. In the chart above, Indeed economist Jed Kolko, using data from the U.S. Current Population Survey, found that 5.6% to 5.7% of working-age adults didn’t work last year because of illness or disability, an unknown percentage of which were because of drug use.
from what i’ve heard and seen over the past few years, it sure as hell seems like opioids have become a serious drug problem… i’m good at keeping secrets and confidential, especially talking to friends / neighbors / people in general… but damn, i can’t even begin to say how surprised or shocked i’ve been to find out some of the drugs people are using or into… i mean, marijuana seems downright harmless compared to some of the shit people are doing on the regular, y’know?