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The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States - 1992

Appendix D, Table D.2

A Summary of Studies on Social Welfare and Substance Abuse

Study Welfare Program Measure Value
Substance Abuse and Women on Welfare * Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Alcohol abuse is defined as drinking five or more drinks in one sitting, two or more times a month.

Drug use is defined as having used illicit drugs in the past year.

1.3 million (28 percent) AFDC recipients abuse or are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Alcohol: 12 percent met abuse criteria in last month.

Drugs: 23 percent used illicit drugs in last year.

 
Patterns of Substance Use and Program Participation ** AFDC; Food Stamps Alcohol: five or more drinks three or more times in the past 30 days;

Drugs: past month or past year use

Alcohol: AFDC - 8.7 percent;

Food Stamps - 10.4 percent;

Drugs:

Past month - AFDC - 10.5 percent, Food Stamps - 10.1 percent;

Past year - AFDC - 21.6

Food Stamps - 19.5

 
Patterns of Substance Use and Substance-Related Impairment Among Participants in the AFDC Program ** AFDC "Significant impairment" would include dependency on alcohol and drunk at least weekly or dependent on an illicit drug other than marijuana and used an illicit drug at least monthly or heroin once in the last year. 4.9 percent of female AFDC recipients are estimated to have significant functional impairment related to substance abuse.
 
Alcohol and Drug Problems among Diverse Health and Social Service Populations *** Representative sample of welfare recipients (mostly in AFDC and General Assistance) in a No. California County Problem drinking is defined as meeting two of the three following criteria: drinking five or more drinks on an occasion at least once per month; demonstrating one or more dependency symptoms; or experiencing one or more social consequences.

Drug use measures unprescribed use during past year.

Problem Drinkers: 24 percent

Illicit Drug user: 58 percent

Multiple Drug User: 21 percent

 
Social Security: Major Changes Needed for Disability Benefits for Addicts **** Disability Insurance; Supplemental Security Income Addiction is defined as medical evidence consisting of symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings that determine that beneficiary cannot work and whose physical or mental impairment is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. 4.8 percent of the adult SSI population are diagnosed with addiction, of which 2.6 percent of the Drug Addict & Alcoholic (DA&A) recipients;

2.8 percent of the DI population are diagnosed with addiction. No breakdown of cases by alcoholic or drug addict is provided.

 
SSI Payments to Drug Addicts and Alcoholics: Continued Dependence ***** Supplemental Security Income Addiction is defined as medical evidence consisting of symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings that determine that beneficiary cannot work and whose physical or mental impairment is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. 80,332 (2.0 percent) DA&A cases in the SSI program are diagnosed with addiction. This number does not include primary and secondary diagnoses that are not in DA&A. For those with a primary diagnosis, 67 percent of cases are alcoholics and 33 percent are drug addicts.
 

*Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (1994).
**U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS; 1994b).
***Weisner and Schmidt (1993).
****United States General Accounting Office (1994).
*****DHHS (1994d).


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