Opioid use disorder has hit the construction industry hard: It has higher rates of overdose death than most other sectors. Providing the life-saving medication Narcan on jobsites, and educating about opioid use in the industry is now becoming more standard in the U.S. as well as Canada.
“It’s an amazing medication that reverses imminent death. There’s no reason not to have it,” said Chris Trahan Cain, executive director of Silver Spring, Maryland-based CPWR — the Center for Construction and Research Training.
Opioid use disorder has affected Americans in every walk of life, but it’s especially prevalent in construction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 107,622 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021, up nearly 15% from 2020. The CDC also found that overdose deaths involving opioids increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021.
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