ncluding health, cognitive, and emotional problems at the individual level as well as economic and criminal problems at the societal level (Wisdom 20).
In general, socioeconomic status (SES), usually indicated by income, occupation, and education level, has been found to be inversely related to drug and alcohol use disorders. However, some of the findings have been mixed, especially when SES is examined as an antecedent (i.e., SES in childhood or adolescence) rather than as a correlate of adult substance use disorders (Vega & Seligman, 130).
According to research studies, income is inversely related to current use (past month) of any illicit drug as well as lifetime dependence (NIDA ‘Directors Report to Council’ 1). Further, researchers have found more problems from drug and alcohol use among those who are economically disadvantaged (Nichols 309; Epstein 1).
In contrast, researchers have shown that alcohol consumption increases with affluence (Smart & Murray, 297), and studies with adolescents have found that drug use was higher among those with more spending money (Maddahian et al., 65; Mills & Noyes 231). Similarly, the types of drugs used in adolescence are related to cost. Some research findings suggest that low income may have more of an impact on drug and alcohol abuse among Blacks than Whites (Jones-Webb et al. 625). For example, Jones-Webb and colleagues found that among the less affluent, Black men reported more adverse consequences from drinking alcohol than White men; however, they found that among the affluent, the problems were greater among White men than Black men (Jones-Webb 626).
Education level, a separate indicator of socioeconomic status, has had a more consistent inverse relationship with drug and alcohol abuse. For example, research study found that education was inversely related to drug and alcohol dependence (Crum and Anthony 41). Drug and alcohol disorders have been associated with low educational achievement among both African