UA Local 296
UA Local 296

Register an Account
Forgot Login?
The Construction Industry and the issues of Substance abuse
May 13, 2024

The Construction Industry and the issues of Substance abuse

Here are some statistics to show the detrimental effects of substance misuse , and alcoholism to construction workers and their families.

- Construction workers have twice the rate of substance abuse as the national average.

- Around 15% of construction workers in the U.S. have a substance use disorder compared to 8.6% of the general population.

- 12% of construction workers have an alcohol use disorder , compared to 7.5% for the national average

- 16.5% of construction workers reported heavy alcohol consumption in the last month. This is double of all other workers surveyed.

- 11.6% of construction workers reported illicit drug use within the last month.

- 14.3% of construction workers were diagnosed with substance abuse disorder. This is 1.5 X higher than the national average.

- 1.3% of construction workers were diagnosed with an opioid disorder. This is 2X the national average.

- Construction workers have the highest mortality rate for drug overdose deaths.

- Construction workers are 7X more likely to die from an opioid overdose than people in any other industry.

Construction workers and tradesmen are in a unique situation. The nation relies on construction and the trades to build and maintain our infrastructure, workplace, and homes. This work is demanding and hard, taking a toll on our minds and bodies.Over time it can cause adverse effects such as mental condition, addictive behavior, and health issues.

Here are a few examples

- Long hours (work, commute, class)

- Stress (deadlines, lack of material, manpower, direction or info.)

- Anxiety (working yourself out of a job, don’t know when the layoff is coming, too much to do, not enough to do, being away from family)

- Normality (crews meeting at bar after work, old saying “You are not a pipefitter if you haven’t been divorced and had a DUI.”)

- Young male dominated workforce

- Injury or chronic pain ( we work hard and we play hard )

Here are some warning signs of substance abuse or alcoholism.

- Increased risk taking

- Neglecting responsibilities

- Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual

- Change in appetite, sleep patterns, physical appearance

- Unusual smell on breath, body, or clothing

- Impaired coordination

- A drop in attendance and performance at work

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude

  •     Sudden mood swings, irritability, spaced out, or angry outbursts

Far too often construction workers struggle with addiction alone. It is estimated that only one in ten people who need treatment receive it. Why is that? Normalization of substance use, fear of losing a job, guilt, distrust of medical professionals, financial burden. We also need to get out of the “tough guy” syndrome.

workers in the construction industry need and deserve the support to take their lives back. Taking care of themselves will not only make them healthier and happier. Their performance at work will improve greatly. This provides a safer and more productive work environment for the people around them and themselves.

If a person decides to overcome an addiction. There are a few options available. 

- Medically assisted detox

- Individual therapy Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

- Group Therapy

- Inpatient care at recovery facility

- self help (focus on a healthier you.) Meditate, workout, nutrition, and sleep. Use of group like Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous

To bring this to a close, we are stronger together! The U.A. is a brotherhood. Do not isolate yourself from family, friends, and coworkers. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Get healthier in mind and body together.

UA Local 296
575 North Ralstin
Meridian, ID 83642

Top of Page image
Powered By UnionActive - Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.