Job loss discrimination and former substance use disorders

Marjorie Baldwin, Steven C. Marcus, Jeffrey De Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Persons with former alcohol or drug use disorders are protected from labor market discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. They have been neglected, however, in empirical studies of labor market discrimination following implementation of the Act. We apply econometric techniques used to study other disabled groups to determine if there are significant differences in employment outcomes for persons with and without former substance use disorders and, if so, what part of these differences potentially can be attributed to employer discrimination. There are no significant differences in employment rates between persons with and without former substance use disorders, and among those who are employed no significant differences in rates of full-time employment. But persons with former substance use disorders report significantly higher rates of involuntary job loss within the previous year. Part of the differential remains unexplained after controlling for other factors that affect employment outcomes, suggesting employer discrimination may be one cause of poor job stability among this group. Certain identifiable subgroups with low levels of human capital are particularly susceptible to substance-related discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Job loss
  • Labor market discrimination
  • Substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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