NAHB and SAFE Project Recognize International Overdose Awareness Day

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Contact: David Jaffe
djaffe@nahb.org
(202) 266-8317

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NAHB and its partners have wondered why home builders don't talk about substance use disorder and how it affects workers and their families. Last year alone, more than 108,000 Americans lost their lives to overdoses, and we have lost over one million Americans to overdoses since 1999.

These are our co-workers and employees, our families and friends.

On Aug. 31, NAHB, in partnership with SAFE Project, is recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day, the world's largest annual campaign to end overdose and remember without stigma those who have lost their battle to addiction.

SAFE Project and NAHB have been working together to educate workplaces by providing resources to prevent addiction, overdoses, and to aid individuals struggling with addiction. This includes helping to reduce the stigma around substance use disorder. Stigma is the No. 1 reason people do not get treatment.

About 50% of people experiencing mental health challenges and addiction do not get the help they need. This stigma can also come at the hands of the workplace. By ignoring or avoiding this problem, we unintentionally prevent employees from seeking help for themselves and their families.

Construction occupations have the highest rates of alcohol and other substance use disorders across all industries, totaling 19% of employees. On average, construction workers with untreated substance use disorders cost their employers an additional $8,591 per worker each year: $4,211 in turnover, $2,915 in absenteeism and $1,465 in healthcare costs. This can lead to not only reduced productivity on the job but an even greater risk of injuries. Employees who use alcohol or drugs are 3.5 times more likely to have a workplace accident. In this industry, that incident could be deadly.

While SAFE Project and NAHB believe a substance-free workplace is a healthy workplace, workplaces still need to be prepared to address alcohol and substance use. SAFE Project's SAFE Workplaces portfolio provides employers and employees with the resources and tools necessary to address issues of behavioral health and substance use while achieving emotional wellbeing in the workplace. This could be as simple as educating your workforce and including naloxone in your workplace's first aid kit.

Naloxone is a nonaddictive prescription medication that reverses overdoses. It can be used to counteract an opioid overdose, allowing an individual experiencing an overdose to breathe normally. Anyone can be trained to administer it — and there are no risks associated with its use.

Together, we can put a stop to fatal overdoses. If you're interested in learning more about naloxone, or other programs that can protect you, your family or your workforce, please contact SAFE Project at contact@safeproject.us.

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