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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O'Brien went back to the association board and said they should do something about the opioid epidemic, and the board agreed. They hosted a couple of meetings to talk about the problem and what the group could do to help, but they did not reach an actionable conclusion. Then, the issue showed up on their doorstep and compelled the association to stop debating and act on the plight. "In meetings for the carpenters' unions, they give an update on the apprenticeship program," he says. "And at back-to-back meetings, they talked about two apprentices who passed away; and it ĬĖĨĝĚħĤĞģďĝĚĮĨĩĖħĩĚęĤŻĬĞĩĝĥĖĞģĢĚęĨĖģę then they worked their way up to street heroin." At that point, O'Brien approached the board and proclaimed they needed to enact a solution ĞĢĢĚęĞĖĩĚġĮüĨĝĚęħĖƁĚęĖģĞģěĤħĢĖĩĞīĚėĤĤĠġĚĩ for employers and organized "toolbox talks" for their workers, a friend suggested he reach out to ĩĝĚĉĖĩĞĤģĖġĎĖěĚĩĮþĤĪģĘĞġĬĝĞĘĝĤŻĚħĨĩĞĢĚġĮ resources on opioid misuse. O'Brien called, and the two organizations teamed up on an initiative. Keystone sent letters to all its members explain- ing pain medication abuse and included self-stick labels from the National Safety Council that read, Opioids: Warn meďĝĚġĖėĚġĨŽĩĤģĞģĨĪħĖģĘĚĖģę prescription cards without covering up important information, reminding patients to begin a discus- sion with their medical provider about the risks of prescribed opioids and whether there are safer, yet complete parts of their projects. The job might be only three or four weeks, consequently, so workers ĘĖģģĤĩĖŻĤħęĩĤĨĩĖĮĤĪĩĘĤģĨĚĘĪĩĞīĚęĖĮĨ "Even though their injury might not be fully healed, it's [likely] they're going to continue to take opioids so they can go back to work. Because they don't have any more sick time," Cooper says. The CDC estimates prescription opioid misuse costs the U.S. $78.5 billion every year, including the cost of health care, lost productivity, addic- tion treatment and criminal justice involvement. Workers with a pain medication use disorder miss an average of 29 days per year, compared with 14.9 days for all substance use disorders, 10.5 days for most employees and 9.5 days for workers in recov- ery from a substance use disorder, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. "When you have someone who's not showing up for work or not at full capacity, you can agitate the rest of your employees," explains Carl Heinlein, director at large for the American Society of Safety Professionals, an association for occupational safety and health professionals. "You can have absenteeism, and you can get violence. You can ĝĖīĚĩĝĚƁĤģĩĝĚğĤėĩĤĥĖĮěĤħęħĪĜĨŤ Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients pre- scribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Between 8 and 12 percent of patients de- velop an opioid use disorder, and an estimated 4 to 6 percent of those who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. About 80 percent of people who use heroin, furthermore, misused prescription opioids. "When you've got a worker who is using opi- oids, they're putting themselves in danger; they're also putting all the workers around them that are on the jobsite in danger, as well as the general public who might walking [around] a jobsite," says Gary Hill, executive director of the Job-Site Safety ĄģĨĩĞĩĪĩĚĖģĤģĥħĤŽĩĩĝĖĩĘĤģęĪĘĩĨĨĖěĚĩĮħĚĨĚĖħĘĝ for residential and commercial jobsites. "But if somebody's abusing drugs—be it legal or illegal—most of us probably aren't going to be educated enough to be able to recognize those is- sues," he adds. "So it becomes harder to know if you really have a problem. It's hard for someone to come in and say, 'Hey, I've got a problem.'" Conversation Starter ąĤģĊšýħĞĚģĨĥĚģĩĝĞĨŽħĨĩĨĞĭĢĤģĩĝĨĖĨĚĭĚĘĪ- tive director of Keystone Contractors Association, a commercial construction trade group based in ćĚĢĤĮģĚċĚģģĨĮġīĖģĞĖĩħĖīĚġĞģĜĩĤĤƄĘĚĨĖģę jobsites, getting to know its members. He sat down with executives and discussed their companies, and the challenges they faced, when he noticed a recurring issue throughout many conversations. The National Safety Council oers a self-stick label that reads, Opioids: Warn me, to remind patients to begin a discussion with their medical providers about the risks of prescribed opioids and whether there are safer, eective alternatives. The labels t on insurance and precription cards without covering up important information. QualifiedRemodeler.com May 2019 37

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