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November 29, 2017

Vancouver Island Construction workers add overdose treatment to tool kits

Vancouver Island’s construction industry wrapped up a series of workshops this week that taught workers about how to save colleagues and others from an opioid overdose.

The workshops In Victoria and Nanaimo followed recent reports of higher rates of overdose deaths among the construction trades in the U.S. and Canada.

“I have had first hand reports of tradespeople who have died,” Rory Kulmala. the CEO, of the Vancouver Island Construction Association, told On the Island host Gregor Craigie.

However, Kulmala said, said there have not been any overdoses on construction sites on Vancouver Island.

“It happens in the home and in those areas after work,” he said. “It happens after a party.”

Kulmala disputes suggestions that construction workers in particular are at higher risk of opioid use and overdose than those in other sectors.

He he said they are vulnerable because they match the demographic groups most likely to die from illicit drug use.

According to recent statistics from the BC Coroners Service, 83 per cent of fatal overdose victims are male, and 75 per cent are aged 30 to 59.