Most users of illicit drugs are employed adults, and the rates of alcohol and other drug abuse are especially high among workers between 18 and 35 years of age. The construction industry in particular has been shown to have high prevalence rates of substance abuse, due to a number of factors. The objective of the proposed project is to conduct research on substance abuse prevention in the construction industry, bringing together promising strategies and programming aimed at the individual, the workplace environment, and the larger community.
The specific aims are: 1) to assess the impact of a comprehensive substance abuse prevention program on the use of alcohol and other drugs by construction industry workers; 2) to assess relationships among variables in the underlying model and develop further the conceptual model of substance abuse prevention in the workplace; and 3) to develop and test a substance abuse prevention program -- specific procedures and materials -- that can be used in the construction trades and similar industries (to the extent that the program shows evidence of effectiveness). The conceptual model for the proposed substance abuse prevention program is based on a social-learning framework, and includes a focus on raising worker awareness, motivation and knowledge about health and AOD use; the view that avoidance of AOD abuse will occur as healthful behaviors provide rewards and as the social environment provides support; an appreciation of the influence of the workplace and community environment, particularly the presence of drinking and drug use subcultures; and the belief that individuals typically do not engage in abrupt major changes in AOD use or health behaviors but instead proceed through stages of change. At the individual level, the program will include: information on the risks of drug and alcohol abuse, healthful alternatives to abuse, and guidelines for setting limits on alcohol consumption; opportunities for behavioral modeling; techniques for boosting self-efficacy; and coping skills training. The program will also address the workplace environment by working with companies and unions, and will document activities of the Community Partnership in the surrounding community. Using a pretest/posttest design with random assignment to treatment or control condition, the program will be tested in the construction industry in Brevard County, Florida. Approximately 1000 workers will be included, drawn from 40 to 50 companies. In-person interviews will be augmented by analysis of hair and urine samples; a supplemental telephone survey will also be used, Differential changes in attitudes and behaviors regarding AOD drug use will be assessed using analysis of covariance.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (SRCD (06))
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Isa Associates, Inc.
United States
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Hersch, Rebekah K; McPherson, Tracy L; Cook, Royer F (2002) Substance use in the construction industry: a comparison of assessment methods. Subst Use Misuse 37:1331-58