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Among all other professions, construction workers are most likely to use drugs such as opioids and cocaine, suggests a recent study. The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows the construction workers are the most likely of all occupations to use cocaine and misuse prescription opioids (taking them for nonmedical purposes), and the second most likely to use marijuana. The hazards of construction work including falls, injuries from overexertion, and being struck by or caught in heavy machinery result in high injury and fatality rates. In particular, injuries from repetitive, strenuous work can lead to treatment or self-treatment with pain medication such as marijuana or opioids. "Construction workers are at an increased risk for drug use, which makes them vulnerable to work-related injuries or even overdose deaths," said Danielle Ompad, associate professor of epidemiology at NYU College of Global Public Health, deputy director of CDUHR, and the study's lead author. The researchers found that as compared to all other professions, the construction workers had the highest prevalence of misusing prescription opioids (3.4 per cent versus 2 per cent) and cocaine use (1.8 per cent versus 0.8 per cent). The researchers also observed that having unstable work or missing work were linked to being more likely to use drugs. The construction workers, who were unemployed in the past week or working for three or more employers, were more likely to use marijuana or misuse prescription opioids.