Opioids and opioid related deaths are a huge problem in the nation, but being a construction worker puts you more at risk.
In Ohio, construction workers were 7 times more likely than other workers to die from an opioid overdose between 2010 and 2016.
More than half of those who died from opioid overdose, had at least one job related injury.
There are two main strategies those with physically straining jobs should take to help prevent opioid misuse and overdose. The first strategy is to protect yourself while at your job. Remember to follow safe workplace practices and make sure your employer is providing a safe workplace. Committing to safety reduces risk of injury and need for pain medication.
The second step is to talk to a doctor. If you get injured at work, talk to your doctor about other forms of pain medication or pain management skills to avoid being prescribed opioids. Opioids are addictive and should only be used as a last resort. If prescribed, try to only use for the shortest amount of time possible, and remember to dispose of excess at a drop box in your area.
Lastly, if you find it hard to get off these prescriptions get help. Opioids change how your brain works, if you find that they are becoming hard to resist, check with your employer to see if they have an employee assistance program (EAP) or member assistance program (MAP) and consult your doctor to find the best treatment for you.
Addiction is an illness that can be treated, you are not alone.
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