Stopping opioid overdose on the construction site

Published January 29, 2019


mike sanchezMike Sanchez says that, a few years ago, he wasn’t aware of the extent of the opioid problem in Massachusetts. Sanchez is a chief of construction for Shawmut Design and Construction. Then he watched a family member slide into addiction. He lost a close friend to overdose. And then, there was the moment he realized his own industry was in trouble. 

New data shows construction workers in Massachusetts are six times more likely than other workers to die from opioid overdoses. They account for more than a quarter of all opioid overdoses among the state’s working population.

An innovative effort to prevent those deaths is coming from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS Massachusetts). The health plan is the first in the state to pilot a new program for Shawmut and a few other employers, equipping them with custom-designed naloxone toolkits, training and the online resources needed to prevent more tragedies. The simple nasal spray naloxone (trade name Narcan) can reverse an overdose in seconds – but that’s only if a bystander has the lifesaving medication on hand.

In this podcast, we go on the job with Shawmut to learn more about the dangers construction workers face. We visit BCBS Massachusetts, where creative teams embrace the challenge of designing a worker-friendly toolkit, and employees learn how to use the kits to save a life.

Explore BCBS Massachusetts’ resources for addressing opioid addiction and overdose. And learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ efforts to address opioid addiction and overdose across the country. 

Listen to more podcasts from BCBS companies across the country.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. NARCAN is the registered trademark of ADAPT Pharma Operations Limited, used for identification purposes only, and use of this trademark does not imply endorsement or affiliation with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.