“Opiod overdose isn’t a jurisdictional issue, it’s a construction issue,” said Vicky Waldron, director of B.C.’s Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan (CIRP), a non-profit alcohol and drug treatment program. According to a 2018 report, the construction trades accounted for 55% of overdose deaths among employed people.
Mental health issues are heavily related to substance abuse, and Waldron said construction industry workers are more likely to struggle with suicide, PTSD, and childhood trauma. “(Our program) is seeing a huge increase in calls, the highest number of clients we’ve ever had in the program.”
CIRP had a 47% increase in calls this year, while construction companies are saying more workers are using opioids and suffering overdoses. Waldron added that the pandemic is driving more people to misuse drugs and forego treatment.
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