You started working in construction for a reason. There’s something naturally rewarding about working with your hands and being part of a team. The work is tough, but at the end of a project, you feel a strong sense of pride and accomplishment as you look out and see everything your team got done.
But sometimes working in the construction industry can come with a price. Construction workers are at a high risk of experiencing injuries on the job. That risk can often lead to issues with chronic pain and stress. And construction projects don’t wait for you to get better. This is why some construction workers rely on opioids to help themselves keep up.
While opioids can provide relief in the short term, they’re not a healthy long-term solution. Fortunately, there are healthier ways to cope with chronic pain that don’t carry a high risk of developing an opioid addiction.
Opioid Addiction in Construction
Before we dive into the healthy coping strategies, it’s important to understand why they’re needed. The stress and risk of injury for construction workers make them more likely to develop an opioid addiction. In 2016, Ohio construction workers were reported to be seven times more likely to develop an opioid addiction.
Working in construction is one of the most stressful and physically demanding jobs in the country. Highlighting healthier ways to cope is one way to minimize addiction risk in the industry.
Healthy Ways to Manage Chronic Pain
When someone is treated for chronic pain, it’s not uncommon for them to be given prescription painkillers. You may have even experienced this the last time you talked to your doctor. Opioids have been seen as the first line of defense against chronic pain, but the problem is how addictive they can be if not monitored and taken as prescribed.
To help lower the risk of abusing painkillers, try these natural alternatives to relieving pain:
Deep Breathing and Meditation:
Meditation and deep breathing are ancient techniques that can help you relax and focus on the present moment. By paying attention on your breath, your mind and body learn to release tension, shifting your focus away from the physical pain and discomfort you have.
Join a Support Group
You’re not alone in your battle with chronic pain. Hearing other people’s stories can give you unique insight on how you can move forward. Since depression often accompanies chronic pain, a support group can help you feel less isolated and more connected.
Track Your Pain Throughout the Day
This might sound like a basic way to manage chronic pain, but it can do wonders. Keep a journal and rate your pain from 1 to 10 during the day. And be sure to include any activities you’ve done. Giving this information to your doctor can help them create an effective treatment program for your unique situation.
Decrease Your Stress Levels
Did you know that high stress levels can make your body more sensitive to pain? We’ll dive into more healthy ways to manage stress below, but one technique that has been shown to help with stress and pain is listening to relaxing music.
Healthy Ways to Manage Stress in Construction
Busy job sites, long hours, tight deadlines and potentially dangerous work conditions. These are all reasons why working in construction can cause stress. And that stress doesn’t magically disappear when you come home after a long shift. When the stress from working in construction becomes too much, try these healthy ways to cope.
We all know that sometimes work has a habit of following us home. That’s where boundaries come in handy. Boundaries can help you limit the amount of time you think about work during your downtime. Start by limiting yourself to only checking emails when you’re on the clock and maybe just once when you’re home to ensure you aren’t missing anything urgent.
Talk to Your Supervisor
This can be intimidating, but your mental health is linked to your productivity on the job site. Try to have an open conversation about your stress. Do your best not to list off complaints. Instead, work with your supervisor to develop a plan that eases your stress and helps you better manage your chronic pain. You might be surprised at the support and resources your company has to offer to help cope with stress.
Build Healthy Stress Responses
Work to train your body to release stress in a healthy way once you notice tension building. From exercising to yoga and playing music, set aside time for activities that bring you joy.
Forget About Perfectionism
In the busy and fast-paced construction industry, you can’t expect to be perfect. Mistakes will happen, but it’s important not to dwell on them. Adding internal pressure on your job performance is extra stress you don’t need. Start by practicing self-gratitude and take time to congratulate yourself after a job well done.
Opioid Addiction Treatment at Silver Maple Recovery
The construction industry and your work ethic are part of what defines you. But if the chronic pain from an injury or stress becomes too much, you may have turned to opioids for relief. It was only meant to be a short-term solution until you got back on your feet. Before you knew it, though, the passion for your work was transferred to opioids.
Silver Maple Recovery is here to help fight opioid addiction in construction with effective treatment. It all starts with our expert staff that has an average of 25 years of local Ohio experience.
Part of what makes our opioid addiction treatment one of the premier options in Ohio is our approach to detox. We offer medication-assisted treatment to make detox as comfortable as possible. Our detox program even offers chemical dependency counseling to help you get through detox effectively and successfully transition to residential treatment.
No two addictions are the same, which is why we provide 24/7 supervision to monitor your condition. As the only residential detox center in Lorain County, our evidence-based therapy is here to help construction workers like you overcome opioid abuse.
Break Free from the Hold of Opioid Addiction at Silver Maple Recovery
An opioid addiction does not have to be a side-effect of working in construction. You have the potential to break free from opioid addiction and reach recovery.
If you’re currently struggling with opioid abuse, Silver Maple Recovery can help with our person-centered approach to treatment. When you contact our team, there is a professional caregiver ready to talk through your situation. With help from Silver Maple Recovery, you can find a path to healing and long-term pain relief.