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August 24, 2018 – A study released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the few analyses of its kind in the country, backs up what Dougherty and others say they have long known: construction workers are more likely than workers in any other occupation in the country to die of a drug overdose. The study found that they were also at higher risk of heroin overdose. There has been little research on how occupation dovetails with overdose and addiction risk, as it’s hard to track. Death certificates, for example, aren’t often clear about a person’s profession at the time of their death. The study looked at fatal overdose data from 21 states, including New Jersey, between 2007 and 2012. Another recent study, which focused solely on Massachusetts and used data collected between 2011 and 2015, found construction and mine workers there died of overdoses at a rate six times higher than the general working population.

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