A study done by New York University found that workers in the construction and mining industries were at higher risk than other industries to use opioids and cocaine. More than 3 percent of the construction industry and those that are employed as miners took non-prescription opioids versus 2 percent of those in other industries. Additionally, cocaine was much more prevalent in these professions. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) backed these findings up and the research was printed in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Researchers examined nine years of information on federal drug use. The information they looked at included individuals that used marijuana, cocaine, and non-prescription opioids. 

The Construction Industry Epidemic

There are significant numbers of construction and mining workers throughout the country. Almost 8 million individuals work in these industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that these professions make up some of the largest sectors in the United States. There are a couple of things that these workers have in common. The first is that they are overwhelmingly male and they earn less than $50,000 a year.

Opioids have been widely misused in general for Americans with over 10 million abusing them in 2018 alone. These drugs have severe consequences. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported that there are more than 130 fatalities each day in the country from opioid-related overdoses.

So why are those employed in construction more prone to abuse these drugs? One reason may be that construction work puts a physical toll on the body causing many to have injuries and chronic pain as a result. What may have started as a legitimate prescription by their doctors to help control pain, devolved into an addiction. This phenomenon is commonly seen among many Americans who find themselves addicted to opioids after they were injured and obtained a prescription from a doctor. Those who work in these risk-prone industries have a higher incidence of workplace injuries than other sectors.

Physical labor comes with aches and pains and it is also conceivable that these workers engage in self-medication. When they can’t see a doctor or choose not to go, to alleviate the discomfort they choose marijuana and non-prescription painkillers. These individuals also may have at one time had a legitimate prescription but after it was no longer available, resorted to finding these drugs on the black market to help them with their constant pain.

Construction and mining employees also experience job instability in both pay and job security which is a lifestyle that has shown a strong link with drug abuse. The two can work together to cause a vicious cycle. Injuries make workers use drugs, then drug use causes injuries and the cycle continues. 

Finding Help For Addiction In Tennessee

 Study Shows Opioid And Cocaine Use Higher In The Construction IndustryNot all construction workers have a drug abuse problem. Public health officials need to understand the relationships between people and drug abuse to help improve education and develop better support systems. The medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place can help you overcome your addiction. Discovery Place’s Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center has a caring team of professionals that understand where you are coming from and can relate to your struggles. If you are ready to get help and begin detoxing to recover from your addiction call our  Tennessee detox alternative treatment center today at 1-800-725-0922.


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