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Construction Workers at Higher Risk of Opioid Addiction

Construction Workers at Higher Risk of Opioid Addiction

Construction work is dangerous enough on its own, and those in construction already deal with a near-constant risk of serious injury. But now a new crisis looms large for the industry, as recent studies show that construction workers are uniquely vulnerable to the opioid epidemic plaguing the nation. In August, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that construction workers in Massachusetts die from opioid overdose at six times the rate of all the state’s workers. And the problem has received national attention as well: The Center for Construction Research and Training has even released a hazard alert to educated construction workers about the risks.

When injured at work, many construction workers must receive multiple surgeries and long-term treatments that require anesthetics – and some irresponsible doctors will overprescribe opioid medications in an attempt to ease their pain. Then, once the treatment has run its course, the construction worker is left with a potentially life-threatening addiction to opioid derivatives, and a dangerous circle of addiction ensues. It’s imperative to hold employers accountable for your workplace injuries, especially if you’ve suffered a long-term addiction to opioids as a result.

Facing Facts: Opioid Addiction Spreads in Construction

The U.S. construction industry is attempting to stem the tide of opioid abuse and addiction in their ranks, but much like the opioid epidemic itself, this problem has only grown since it first came to light. Back in 2015, more than 1,000 workers in construction across 7 different states died of opioid overdose, but the industry largely remained quiet until a report was published by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute in 2018. And in 2017, a survey from the National Safety Council discovered that as many as 15% of construction workers struggle with drug addiction and substance abuse.

Even as national rates of substance abuse have skyrocketed to 8.6%, that percentage pales in comparison to the number of affected construction workers. There are some signs of hope on the horizon, however. Recent research also shows a 22% decrease in the national rate of opioid prescriptions in 2017, as compared with just four years earlier. So, while construction workers do continue to face a serious risk of both injury and overmedication, it’s possible that doctors are taking more care when prescribing these powerful drugs. But this recent change in approach can’t change the past, and if your life has been altered by a negligent doctor who prescribed opioids, you may be entitled to damages.

Fight for Compensation with Our Workers’ Compensation Attorney

When you work with Michael J. Doyle, you can rest assured your case will be in the hands of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. With over 10 years of experience helping clients understand their options, he can be your ally in navigating the extremely difficult process of submitting your claim and seeking justice after your accident. You’ll only pay us if we can win financial compensation for your case.

If you’ve been affected by addiction after a work-related injury in Albuquerque, contact us today for a free consultation.

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