A new Centers for Disease Control report says Americans who worked in multiple specific industries, including construction and extraction, were the most likely to die from drug overdoses in 2020, USA Today reports. The other industries include food preparation, personal care, service and transportation and material moving occupations. The report analyzed deaths caused by drug overdoses in 46 states and New York City. Occupations or industries with the highest drug overdose rates were more likely to be ones where injured workers use prescription opioids due to physical injuries on the job. Construction workers were four times more likely to die from drug overdoses than the overall population.
Numerous factors contribute to drug overdose mortality risks dependent on occupation or industry, including differences in "workplace injury, work-related psychosocial stress, precarious employment, employer-provided health insurance status, and access to paid sick leave," the report said. The drugs used by those who died include "heroin, natural and semisynthetic opioids, methadone, synthetic opioids other than methadone, cocaine, and psychostimulants with abuse potential." It also shows that 64% of drug overdose cases in common occupations and industries in 2020 involved synthetic opioids "other than methadone."