The impact of social, structural and physical environmental factors on transitions into employment among people who inject drugs
Despite growing awareness of the importance of context for the health of people who use drugs, studies examining labour market outcomes have rarely considered the role that physical, social and structural factors play in shaping labour market participation among drug users. Using discrete time event history analyses, we assessed associations between high-intensity substance use, individual drug use-related risk and features of inner-city drug use scenes with transitions into regular employment. Data were derived from a community-recruited cohort of people who inject drugs in Vancouver, Canada (n = 1579) spanning the period of May 1996–May 2005. Results demonstrate that systematic socio-demographic differences in labour market outcomes in this context generally correspond to dimensions of demographic disadvantage. Additionally, in initial analyses, high-intensity substance use is negatively associated with transitions into employment. However, this negative association loses significance when indicators measuring exposure to physical, social and structural features of the broader risk environment are considered. These findings indicate that interventions designed to improve employment outcomes among drug users should address these social, structural and physical components of the risk environment as well as promote the cessation of drug use.
Volume (Year): 76 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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