Substance Abuse Month
New Braunfels, TX, October 26, 2022
Since late in 2011, October has been recognized as National Substance Abuse month. The statistics are staggering as it relates to substance abuse within the construction industry. We all know that a job in construction is very challenging, both physically and mentally. Therefore, many in the construction industry resort to drugs and alcohol to cope with stress or to self-medicate physical pain.
The topic of Substance Abuse is often an uncomfortable conversation. The truth is that each of us have been personally affected by substance abuse in one way or another. Whether you, a friend, or family member have in the past or are currently struggling with substance abuse; we want everyone on the call today to know there are options available to get help.
The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace causes 65 percent of on-the-job accidents and that 38 percent to 50 percent of all worker’s compensation claims are related to the abuse of alcohol or drugs in the workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,293 fatal work injuries from unintentional overdoses from 2011 to 2018. Of the fatal unintentional overdoses, 41 percent were from nonmedical drugs and 32 percent were from prescription drugs, alcohol, and medicines. Overall, individuals in the construction industry have nearly twice the rate of substance abuse as the national average.
At the Ontivity family of companies, we understand the risk that comes within our industry. We have folks that are working at-height, operating heavy equipment, and working within high voltage electrical panels every day. These are all tasks that require the upmost attention. Couple that with any form of substance abuse and that equates to fatal consequences.
It is because of the staggering statistics and the inherent risks associated with substance abuse that our main message that we want to drive home is that there are options at your disposal to get help. If you or your family member is currently enrolled or participating in our member benefits, there are options available through our insurance to get treatment. If not, there are alternative options available as well. Either way, we encourage you to reach out to your local HR department so they can help get you the information you need. Know that by reaching out, your information, condition, or current struggle will be kept in confidence and will not result in punitive consequences. We take these matters very seriously and ultimately want to know that each and every member of our team have every opportunity to reach our fullest potential.