ICES finds construction workers disproportionately impacted by opioid-related deaths

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July 28, 2022

The report found nearly one in 13 opioid-related deaths in Ont. between 2018 and 2020 occurred among construction workers and among construction workers who died over half were employed at time of death. The report shows deaths among construction workers are primarily driven by the unregulated drug supply, not pharmaceutical opioids prescribed for pain, with cocaine and alcohol being more commonly involved in opioid toxicity deaths among construction workers compared to those not working in the construction industry. Pain was highly prevalent among construction workers who died of opioid toxicity - almost 80% experienced a pain-related condition or injury in the five years prior to opioid toxicity death, which was similar to those with no employment history in construction. The findings highlight the need for industry-level responses to the overdose crisis within the construction sector.

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