Posted October 30, 2019

Connecticut Construction Industries Association kicks off campaign to raise opioid addiction awareness

Opioid deaths in construction workers outpace those in all other worker categories.

Gov. Ned Lamont and the Connecticut Construction Industries Association kicked off a week-long campaign on Monday to raise awareness about opioid addiction among construction workers. Along with Attorney General William Tong and union representatives, Lamont spoke to workers at the state office renovation site by the Capitol.

“Protection on the job is bigger than just the vest you wear, the hardhat, and the training,” said Lamont. “[Addiction] is not a moral failure, not a because of some weakness ...This is a healthcare crisis.”

Between 2012 and 2018, the overall rate of opioid overdose deaths in Connecticut increased by over 220%. In August, the chief medical examiner’s office reported that 554 people died of opioid overdoses from January through June of this year. The total number of deaths in 2019 is expected to exceed last year’s total.

People who work in industries with high job-related injury rates run a greater risk of developing addictions, said John Hawley, president of the Associated General Contractors of Connecticut.

“Recent research from Massachusetts has shown that the opioid overdose death rate for construction workers is nearly 125 workers for 100,000 people,” said Hawley. “That is significantly higher than in agriculture, forestry, and fishing...and over five times higher than the average rate for general workers at 25 [workers per 100,000 people].”

Click here to read the entire story.