People employed in construction and manufacturing wake up and go to work in dangerous environments every day. By nature of their jobs, these employees are exposed to hazards that can lead to accidents and serious injuries. Workers who are injured in construction sites, factories, and warehouses are often prescribed opioids to relieve the pain so they can get back to work. Unfortunately, workers are becoming addicted to these powerful drugs and suffering severe consequences to their health, relationships, and jobs as a result.
The effects of opioid addiction
Opioids are a type of pain-relieving drug that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body. Because opioids produce a feeling of euphoria along with pain relief, they are incredibly addictive. Taking opioids even as prescribed by a doctor can lead to dependence on the drugs. When misused, opioid addiction, overdose, and death can occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017.
As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the nation, opioid addiction among workers in construction sites, factories, and warehouses is sharply increasing. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overdoses from the non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while on the job increased from 165 in 2015 to 217 in 2016, which represents a 32 percent increase. Overdose fatalities have climbed by at least 25 percent every year since 2012.
Opioid addiction in construction
The construction industry has the second highest rate of opioid misuse. According to the 2012-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 1.3 percent of construction workers are thought to suffer from opioid addiction. The side effects of opioid abuse include drowsiness, lethargy, paranoia, respiratory depression, and nausea, which can impair a construction worker and prevent him or her from safely performing his or her job duties. Opiate addiction and long-term abuse can lead to dependence on the drug, liver and brain damage, and death.
Unfortunately, job-related injuries are common in the construction industry, and many construction workers become addicted to opioids after taking drugs prescribed by their doctors. In 2016, 40 percent of workers’ compensation claims for prescriptions included an opioid. If you have been injured on the job, opioids aren’t the only way to find relief from the pain. A workers’ comp attorney can help you see the right doctor and pursue alternative medical treatments that can get you on the path to recovery.
Don’t become a statistic. Call a workers’ comp attorney in San Diego
When a construction worker suffers a job-related injury, he or she will do almost anything to find relief from the pain. Many workers file workers’ compensation claims to get access to prescription drugs. Unfortunately, a rising number of these workers develop an opioid addiction, and some turn to illegal opioids like heroin when their prescriptions run out. Other workers fail to report their injuries at all for fear of retaliation.
At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, we consider it our privilege and responsibility to help injured workers get safe, appropriate medical treatment and full compensation for their injuries. Doctors have many alternative methods of pain relief at their disposal, from non-opioid medications to non-drug treatments like physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. Contact us to see how a workers’ comp attorney can help you pursue safe, effective treatment for your injuries and get you back on your feet.
Call us at (619) 528-9800 to speak with a workers’ comp attorney today.