BC opioid overdose numbers continue to climb and the Construction Industry Rehab Plan (CIRP) is active in training BC Building Trades members to combat this epidemic with Naloxone Trainer Training.
1/3 of all overdoses have been construction workers and we at DC 38 and the FTI BC are committed to harm reduction strategies and educating our members on mental health and addictions services available to them. This life-saving drug, which is injected into a person to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is available in a take-home kit free of charge.
Our educators and reps will be providing Naloxone training to our apprentices and Journeypersons as part of our efforts to curb the spike in opioid deaths. A 2018 BC Construction Industry Roundtable on the Opioid Overdose Crisis found that there are industry specific risk factors that contribute to overdoses among construction workers: there is a greater risk of physical injury on the jobsite, the work is often transient, and there can be a “work hard, play harder” culture. As well, the study found that 70% of overdose deaths occurred in private residences by employed persons, that 85% of fatal overdoses are men, and that 19 – 59 year olds are the most impacted by opioid use (with 30 – 39 having the highest number of overdose deaths).
And while we know that the construction industry has been hit hard by this epidemic, we also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made finding treatment difficult. Construction workers are less likely to ask for help, and more likely to use substances to cope. We are committed to meeting our members where they are and helping to direct them to assistance when they are ready. We want to make sure that no more construction workers die by opioid overdose.
For more information on Harm Reduction, Naloxone training, and the importance of mental health & addictions supports in construction, please visit the CIRP website. For more information on current mental health & addictions supports available through your membership plan, please visit the DC38 website.