RI Construction Workers More Prone to Fatal Opioid Overdoses

State health officials say they don't know why workers in particular fields are at greater risk

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State data shows that construction workers in Rhode Island are more prone to fatal opioid overdoses.

The Providence Journal reports that Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force data shows a quarter of the 569 overdose deaths between 2016 and 2018 came from fields that include carpentry, laborers, construction workers, electricians and commercial fishing.

Of those 140 deaths, 20% were from the construction industry.

State health officials say they don't know why workers in particular fields are at greater risk. They'll be analyzing the data and targeting education and outreach to those groups.

Local 195 representative Justin Kelley says work injuries and lack of paid time off are contributing factors because people may attempt to work through injuries. He says the industry's instability and frequent unemployment can cause people to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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