Drug Researchers' Roundtable – Drug Use Among Construction Workers: Opportunities for Harm Reduction

New York, NY

The construction and mining/extraction industries are among the largest industrial sectors in the US. Construction trade/extraction workers (CTEW) are at high risk for injuries, which often result in the need for pain management, and their jobs are often high-stress environments. Two recent reports found that construction workers were six to seven times more likely to have a fatal opioid overdose compared to other workers.

In this talk, we will examine data from the 2005-2014 National Studies on Drug Use and Health to determine whether CTEW are more likely to use drugs as compared to other workers. We will also explore what features of the workplace may be associated with drug use. Finally, we will discuss the implications of these findings for harm reduction.


Danielle C. Ompad, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at NYU’s College of Global Public Health (GPH) and the Deputy Director of the NYU GPH’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (a NIDA-funded center). Danielle is an epidemiologist whose work is focused in the areas of urban health, HIV, illicit drug use, and adult access to vaccines. With respect to illicit drug use, her work has spanned the entire natural history of addiction – from initiation to cessation, with particular attention paid to risk for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and STIs. She has primarily worked with people who use heroin, crack, cocaine, and/or club drugs. Danielle’s research is underpinned by a harm reduction perspective, i.e., reducing the negative consequences associated with highly stigmatized drug use and sexual behavior.