Prescription opioid use and associated factors among US construction workers


Background: Construction workers are among the segments of the US population that were hit hardest by the opioid prescription and overdose deaths in the past decades. Factors that underlie opioid use in construction workers have been compartmentalized and isolated in existing studies of opioid use and opioid overdose, but they ignore the overall context of their use. This study examines prescription opioid use and its association with a variety of occupational and nonoccupational factors in construction workers in the United States. Methods: Data from the 2011-2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (n = 7994) were analyzed. The prevalence of prescribed opioid use and the association with occupational and nonoccupational characteristics among construction workers were examined in four multiple logistic regression models.

Results: The odds of prescription opioid use for workers with occupational injuries was more than triple that of their noninjured counterparts when demographics and occupational factors were controlled (odds ratio = 3.38, 95% confidence interval: 2.38-4.81). Odds of prescription opioid use were higher in older construction workers, workers who were white, non-Hispanic, working part-time, and in poorer health, while Hispanic workers and those without health insurance were much less likely to report prescription opioid use. Conclusions: Prescription opioid use among construction workers encompasses both occupational and nonoccupational factors. As an insight into opioid use among construction workers becomes clearer, effectively responding to the opioid crisis remains a challenge.

Authors: Xiuwen S Dong, Raina D Brooks, Chris T Cain
; Full Source: American journal of industrial medicine 2020 Jul 16. doi: 10.1002/ajim.23158.