Qualified Remodeler Magazine

MAY 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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MORE than 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost 70 percent of drug overdose deaths that year involved an opioid—six times higher than the rate in 1999. On average 130 people die each day from an opioid overdose, prompting a national public health emergency declaration in October 2017. Construction workers had the highest propor- tion of drug overdose deaths and, more specifically, heroin- and prescription opioid-related overdose deaths between 2007 and 2012. An analysis of fa- talities from 2010 to 2016 found that construction workers in Ohio were seven times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than people in other profes- sions such as education, health care and finance. In Massachusetts, a report last year examining opioid overdose deaths in the state between 2011 and 2015 discovered that construction workers accounted for more than 24 percent of all opi- oid-related deaths among the working population. The problem has gotten so bad, state legislators in Pennsylvania dedicated an entire week to raising awareness and educating their communities. Despite a growing consciousness of the issue, opioid abuse remains misunderstood because of its personal nature. Workers struggling with ad- diction oƁen feel ashamed and embarrassed and have trouble revealing their dependency to oth- ers, especially colleagues and employers. Many of them assume they will be terminated and sent away without any consideration for their predicament. The construction industry has responded with a number of informational campaigns and outreach aimed at employers and workers, although most of the activity happens in the commercial sector. As more residential trade groups and associations galvanize to confront the dilemma, remodelers find themselves in a unique position to challenge opioid abuse and help people restore their lives. Wear and Tear Physical labor defines the construction occupation, which frequently involves tasks that require repet- itive motion and excessive exposure to vibration as well as bending, twisting and awkward postures. This grueling work strains shoulders, knees and other joints over time and can cause an injury, in- creasing the likelihood of doctors prescribing an opioid to assist with pain management. "Our bodies get beat up pretty easily in con- struction," says Bob McCall, director of safety for the Master Builders' Association of Western DEATHS PER 100,000 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 20 15 25 10 5 0 Drug Overdose Deaths z All overdose deaths z Opioid overdose deaths 8,050 8,407 9,496 11,920 12,940 13,756 14,918 17,545 18,516 19,582 20,422 21,089 22,784 23,166 25,052 28,647 33,091 42,249 47,600 16,849 17,415 19,394 23,518 25,785 27,424 29,813 34,425 36,010 36,450 37,004 38,329 41,340 41,502 43,982 47,055 52,404 63,632 70,237 From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 people died from a drug overdose. In 2017, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids was six times higher than in 1999. Source: CDC QualifiedRemodeler.com May 2019 35

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