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
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
contact us today for a free consultation.