Construction workers use marijuana, cocaine more than others
Construction trade and extraction workers (CTEW) are at high-risk for drug use, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, that found marijuana, cocaine, and non-prescription opioid (NPO) use in particular was higher among that group.
Construction trade and extraction workers: A population at high risk for drug use in the United States, 2005–2014 also revealed that:
- Precarious employment was associated with increased odds of marijuana and NPO use.
- Absenteeism was associated with increased odds of marijuana, cocaine, and NPO use.
- Written workplace drug policies were associated with reduced odds for cocaine use.
- Workplace drug testing was associated with lower odds of marijuana use.
To get those results, researchers Danielle C. Ompad, Robyn R.Gershona, Simon Sandh, Patricia Acosta and Joseph J. Palamar analyzed ten years of data (2005–2014) from 293,492 adults (age≥18) in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, comparing CTEW and non-CTEW.
The goal: To estimate prevalence of past-month marijuana, cocaine, and nonmedical prescription opioid (NPO) use and determine employment-related correlates of drug use among construction trade/extraction workers (CTEW).
Compared to non-CTEW, CTEW were significantly more likely to report past-month marijuana (12.3% vs. 7.5%), cocaine (1.8% vs. 0.8%), and/or NPO use (3.4% vs. 2.0%; Ps<.001).
Among CTEW, past-week unemployment and working for >3 employers was associated with increased odds of marijuana and NPO use. Missing 1–2 days in the past month because the participant did not want to go into work was associated with increased odds for use of marijuana, cocaine, and NPO use. Missing 3–5 days of work in the past month because sick or injured was associated with double the odds (aOR = 2.00 [95% CI: 1.33–3.02]) of using NPO.
Having written drug policies was associated with reduced odds for cocaine use, and workplace tests for drug use during hiring and random drug testing were also associated with lower odds of marijuana use.
The researchers concluded that coupled with reports of high overdose mortality among CTEW, these findings suggest that prevention and harm reduction programming is needed to prevent drug-related morbidity and mortality among CTEW.