A new study suggests employees in jobs where injury is widespread died of opioid overdoses five or six times greater than the run-of-the-mill worker. It makes sense.

This Massachusetts study spotlights this new revelation that focused on workers hurt on the job, including the local fishing industry, where working in pain seems to be commonplace. Although construction workers had the highest rate of agony, farming and commercial fishing were right up there.

The study pointed out that injured rough-and-tough workers were commonly prescribed opioid painkillers, which has led to addiction for some. Add to this the illegal opioids and drugs that are taken while injured employees are waiting for workman's comp, and we end up with higher opioid-related deaths.

The fisherman have their own challenges because they go out to sea for two weeks at a time, and it's common for them to have opioid pills with them. Taking addictive painkillers and working on the high seas creates a recipe for disaster or overdose deaths. It's a disturbing picture where injuries are very common, and workers die of opioid overdoses at rates of five or six times greater than the average American worker.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


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