Experts Disagree over Recession Impact on Addictive Behaviors

Experts Disagree over Recession Impact on Addictive Behaviors

The current global recession has certainly had its impact on nearly everyone in a variety of ways. For those who struggle with addiction, the effects may be even more poignant. For those who provide healthcare and treatment for addiction, there is some division over exactly how the recession has impacted addictive behavior.

According to a news post in The Citizen, some experts believe that while higher state and federal taxes have led to decreased cigarette use, alternative tobacco use has increased. At the same time, some who have helped people overcome gambling and alcohol addictions say they have not seen data suggesting more people are struggling with these problems.

Still, in some cases there are reports from people who are already struggling with these addictions who are having a harder time staying away from gambling and alcohol due to stress from the recession.

According to Mike Dumond, chief of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Prevention Services, smoking rates may not have increased in the state over the last year, but fewer people may be trying to quit. The number of calls to the state’s quit line are down from 2006.

Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington D.C., Keith Whyte, reported that his group did not have any firm data that would suggest more people are turning to gambling as a way to cope with the recession. He feels the impact is more on those who are already having an issue.

Some of those impacted by the recession do hit the bottle as a way to cope. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission said that liquor sales at the state’s stores have risen over the past year. In addition, an Alcoholics Anonymous member reported they are seeing some people who have indicated they are drinking more alcohol because of the recession.

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