Regardless of age or gender, the construction industry has one of the highest rates of substance abuse and substance use disorders compared to other industries .
The good news is that the rates of substance abuse has dropped from previous years, but still, why is there such a high rate of substance abuse in construction?
According to the book Addiction at Work: Tackling Drug Abuse and Misuse in the Workplace, there are probably several reasons that construction workers have relatively higher rates of substance use disorders.
Construction workers typically work long hours during the construction season. Individuals working more than 50 hours per week are far more likely to engage in alcohol use and substance abuse than individuals working less than 50 hours per week.
The nature of the work and the attitudes of many of the workers are similar to the “work hard and play hard” philosophy of this particular social group.
Since construction can be seasonal employment, many workers may have long periods of unemployment. This may result in boredom or feelings of job insecurity.
In the construction industry safety is always a concern and a priority. Individuals with substance use disorders increase the risk for accidents, have poor quality of work and drive up costs due to absenteeism.
How can companies help those battling with substance abuse? Policies regarding substance use on the job should be clearly stated. The consequences for abusing substances on the job should be outlined and understood by all workers. The goal should be to make sure that individuals do not come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while recovering from the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Addiction is a complex problem that affects every aspect of your life. Overcoming addiction requires reaching out for support and making changes to the way you live, deal with problems, and relate to others. Recovery is within your reach. And remember, you don’t have to go at it alone.
Resources in Canada
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