The epidemic is real

Roofing contractors can implement strategies to combat the opioid crisis affecting the workforce

As you know, roofing work entails physical tasks and is challenging for many reasons. Compared with other industries, the construction industry has one of the highest injury rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In many cases when injuries occur, opioids are prescribed to treat pain. As defined by the Georgia Hospital Association, opioids are substances that produce morphine-like effects. For medical purposes, they primarily are used for pain relief, including anesthesia.

According to the National Safety Council, overdosing from drug use now has become the No. 1 cause of unintentional death in the U.S. Nearly 38,000 people in the U.S. die annually from overdoses, and many of them are dying from abused use of prescribed opioids. As the CDC estimates there are 100 deaths per day as a result of opioid drugs, it's no wonder why the National Safety Council now ranks death from opioid overdose higher than deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

How did we get here?

In 1994, Purdue Pharma LP, Stamford, Conn., began testing a new painkiller called OxyContin.® By 1996, OxyContin was being prescribed by doctors to treat a wide variety of pain issues from tooth extraction to recovering from major surgery. OxyContin quickly became the choice drug for pain relief by physicians.