Drug overdoses have nearly doubled in the last decade. Many people believe this is because doctors are overprescribing opioids for pain more frequently. Even though reports of patient pain have been stagnant, the sale of prescription opioids to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2010.
Because of the high incidence of injury on construction sites, construction workers are more prone to dealing with pain. In fact, according to a recent study, construction workers are highly susceptible to opioid abuse, and it has been estimated that 15.1 percent of construction workers have used dangerous drugs illicitly. Part of this may be attributed to an older workforce in the construction industry.
In recent years, there was a serious economic crisis in the United States, with the most intense period occurring between 2008 and 2010. During that time, the construction industry took a major hit. Over a two-and-a-half-year period, many workers left the construction industry, and few young people entered it. This lack of young, skilled labor left an aging construction workforce. As a result, older workers are often required to do more than in the past.
However, workers in their late 40s and beyond do not recover from injury as quickly or as thoroughly as their younger counterparts. Therefore, rather than taking the needed time to make a full recovery after an injury, they turn to their doctors – who prescribe opioids to mask the pain – so they can quickly return to work to avoid losing their jobs.
This combination of opioid use on the job, and within a construction setting that may pose many safety hazards already, means there are increased injuries and greater dangers for workers. This can be the perfect storm for serious injury or death.
If construction accidents have left you in pain or if you are suffering from an opioid addiction, please call the New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are centrally located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state.