Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/13161
The effect of economic conditions on the use and abuse of alcohol and other addictive substances has received some attention. However, this literature is in its infancy and limited focus has been on detailed mechanisms or reasons for changes in consumption, be it initiation of use, cessation or level changes of consumption. In this thesis we examine how the economic climate affects the degree of addiction at the time of admission to rehabilitation. We examine inpatient data from the Icelandic detoxification clinic, Vogur, collected from 1990-2010. The number and level of patient dependencies, found in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third and Fourth Edition (DSM III & DSM IV), are compared to GDP, balance of trade, unemployment rates and real wage index at the time of admission. All time series are de-trended, either with traditional regression techniques or using the Hodrick-Prescott filter. The results from traditional correlation analyses show that the GDP and real wage index are positively associated with patient check-in at Vogur, while the balance of trade and unemployment rate show a negatively association. The results also show that GDP and real wage index are positively associated with the number of substances the patient is addicted to at admission while the balance of trade and unemployment rate show a negative association. The level of dependence is affected differently by the economic climate and has a negative relationship with the real wage index and a positive relationship with the unemployment rate. Assuming exogeneity of the business cycle in the current model, this paper thus shows that harsh economic conditions decrease the patient check-in rate into Vogur hospital and decreases the number of substances that the patients of Vogur are addicted to at the time of admission but my increase their level of dependence.
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