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Journal of Social Economics Research

June 2021, Volume 8, 1, pp 39-49

Socioeconomic Determinants of Drug Abuse in the United States

Bahram Adrangi


Margaret Anderson


Kambiz Raffiee

Bahram Adrangi 1

Margaret Anderson 2
Kambiz Raffiee 3

  1. W.E. Nelson Professor of Financial Economics Pamplin School of Business Administration the University of Portland, Oregon, USA. 1

  2. University of Portland, Portland, Oregon, USA. 2

  3. Foundation Professor of Economics College of Business Administration University of Nevada, Reno, USA. 3

Pages: 39-49

DOI: 10.18488/journal.35.2021.81.39.49

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Article History:

Received: 11 January, 2021
Revised: 15 February, 2021
Accepted: 04 March, 2021
Published: 23 March, 2021


We examine the association between drug abuse and several socioeconomic variables by estimating a multivariate regression model. The sample data includes seventy observations at the county-level from every state in the U.S., excluding Maryland and North Dakota, provided by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Census Bureau. The socioeconomic variables analyzed in the model are education, median household income, community poverty, insurance status, and employment status. The income, education, and community poverty variables are shown to have significant effect on the number of unintentional drug poisonings (drug abuse). Income is shown to have the largest effect followed by community poverty and then education. Neither insurance status nor employment status were found to be statistically significant. Empirical results suggest that encouraging higher levels of education for communities may be beneficial in reducing drug abuse and its consequences. In the short-run drug related information may can be made accessible through community centers, community clinics, and religious temples.
Contribution/ Originality
Research on drug abuse in the US is mainly focused on underlying medical and psychological aspects of the problem. There is a surprising gap in the literature regarding the socioeconomic conditions associated with this problem. Our paper contributes to the existing literature by investigating the association between socioeconomic factors and drug abuse in the US.


Drug abuse, Multivariate regression, Socioeconomics.


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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Authors are grateful for constructive comments and suggestions by anonymous reviewers and the editor. Remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.

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