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Opioid Use Disorder in North Carolina’s Trucking Industry
One in sixteen jobs in North Carolina is trucking jobs. Did you know substance use – especially opioids – is prevalent in the trucking industry? In North Carolina, trucking is a crucial industry for transporting millions of dollars of goods nationwide. The pay is typically decent. However, the industry presents challenges and downsides.
Truck drivers often work long hours, spend extended periods away from their families, and cope with loneliness and boredom on the road. They also face temptations of drugs and alcohol sold at truck stops. The trucking industry is also known for its high turnover rates and challenging working conditions, but it also pays well for people who can work as commercial drivers. As a result, there are many concerns about substance use and addiction in the trucking industry.
Why Do Truckers Use Substances?
Substance use and addiction are prevalent issues in the trucking industry for many of the same reasons other industries have drug use. Truck drivers may use substances to stay awake and on the road longer. They may take opioids to manage chronic pain or emotional pain. Of course, using substances can lead to accidents and impaired driving, putting both the truck driver and others on the road at risk. Truck drivers are also exposed to stressors such as tight schedules, traffic, and long hours, which can increase their risk of substance abuse.
Chronic pain is a common problem among truck drivers, often caused by the long hours spent sitting in the same position behind the wheel. It can be debilitating, affecting their ability to concentrate, stay alert, and perform job duties. As a result, some truck drivers may turn to opioids to manage their pain, leading to a significant issue of opioid use in the trucking industry.
Opioid use among truck drivers has become a growing concern in recent years, as studies have shown that drivers who use opioids are at a high risk of being involved in accidents. Drug use causes drowsiness, impaired function, and slow reaction times, all of which can increase the risk of accidents on the road.
Mental Health and Substance Use in The Trucking Industry
Mental health disorders are also common among truck drivers. Depression and anxiety can develop due to the isolation and stress of life on the road. Some drivers feel more isolated due to their profession and may compensate by using drugs.
A lack of social support, access to healthcare, and the stigma associated with mental health can make it challenging for truck drivers to seek treatment. As a result, some drivers turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with symptoms of mental health disorders, which lead to a vicious cycle as they become more in the grip of their opioid use.
Overall, the trucking industry faces significant challenges related to substance use, addiction, and mental health disorders. Addressing these issues will require a multifaceted approach, including better education and training for truck drivers, improved access to mental health services, and increased efforts to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction.
Mental health is just important as physical health. People with opioid use disorder have the right to take time off to get well. If you or somebody you love needs treatment, some laws can help you with your employment situation if you need them.
Getting Help for Opioid Use Disorder
If you or somebody you love is struggling with opioid use, we’re here to help. Opioid use disorder is a treatable and manageable disorder. Learn more about your treatment options and how we can help you reclaim your life. We’re here to answer any questions you have.
If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.