Addressing chronic drug addiction among unemployed and economically disadvantaged adults is a daunting challenge. Employment is critical in addressing the poverty and economic disadvantage; however, controlled research suggests that employment could play a valuable role in treating drug addiction as well. Contrary to common conceptions, employment alone may not have robust effects on drug use. Employment may have greatest effects on drug use when it is used by employers as an incentive to promote drug abstinence. This article summarizes what we know from controlled research on the utilization of employment in the treatment of drug addiction and suggests potential models of applying these findings in society.
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