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Risky Occupations – Construction

In a previous article, we mentioned we would be discussing the top five occupations in the United States that have the highest risk of drug use associated with the job. This week, we are talking about construction work. It comes in at number two (15.1% of the study) for the most likely job to be associated with substance abuse. Addiction is connected to this line of work for multiple reasons.

First, we can look at the general education level needed for construction work in the US. Often, you do not even need a high school diploma or GED to get hired on a team. Most likely, the only thing you need is the ability to fill out the application and prove you can work in the United States. Statistics show that it is the lower education groups that are more at risk for drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction is more likely in this group, usually because of pay associated with the job and because they are less likely to be educated about the dangers of addiction, especially for those who dropped out of high school. Many who have an addiction to legal substances like alcohol or narcotics (though they may be illegally obtained) often do not realize the serious long-term health risks associated with continued use.

We do see a high rate of pay associated with construction work that we do not usually see with the number one rated job for addiction: food service. The job description for construction versus food service is dramatically different. It is much more hazardous and they are often exposed to the elements. The high rate of pay does help with the costs associated with substance abuse. Also, depending on the company, there is usually a very low chance of being drug tested at both time of employment and random screenings during the duration of employment. With a very low risk of getting caught, there is no reason for these employees to seek out help from an addiction recovery center. Even when an accident occurs on the job, the rate of drug testing is still very low with many construction jobs around the United States.

If we take a closer look at the job description, you can see that construction workers are exposed to the elements, including both extreme heat and cold. They are exposed to loud noises, chemicals and in general will experience wear and tear on their bodies. At the end of the day, a typical construction worker will have worked long hours outside and will be both mentally and physically exhausted. They may choose to use as a way to self-medicate to help with the pain and the stress associated with the job. This includes a high number of construction workers who have an addiction only to alcohol, according to a report published by the Substance Abuse Council that conducted the study of the at-risk occupations. Many of these workers may be pleased by the amount of income that comes with the job, considering the education level needed, but also may feel exhausted and depressed. The help of an addiction recovery center, like the counseling offered at Vista Taos Renewal Center in New Mexico could be of service to those in the construction field. Complimentary therapies that are used during the detoxification and healing process, like massage can continue to be a helpful holistic medical practice outside of the clinic. Massage can be very accommodating to those who work in construction. It can help with the aches, pains and stress of the job. It is successfully used at the clinic to help patients with withdrawal symptoms, but the help it can provide in the real world, once the stay at the addiction recovery center is over, can be very valuable.

The construction field of work in general is plentiful. When one job is over, a person who is interested in continuing in the same line of work can slide into another position quickly. This type of employment situation does make it easy for someone to have a substance abuse problem. Addiction is easy to hide when the job does not test for drugs, therefore not enforcing any rules for employees to stay sober. If there was an issue with drug use, the person could easily leave the current job and find another and continue using.

For more information on drug and alcohol abuse help at Vista Taos Addiction Recovery Center, please visit us at www.VistaTaos.com.

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos is our top priority. Each person admitted to our program will be given a PCR Covid screen upon entry and subsequently will follow our isolation protocol as we await the results.
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