Addiction Within Mining Professions

Addiction within the mining profession is on the rise in recent years.

This should come as no surprise to most people. Mining is a very demanding job that puts workers' lives at risk every single day. It makes sense that many miners would turn to substances as a way to cope. Still, this does not excuse the dangerousness of addictions among miners. Regardless of what job is being done, these individuals are working with heavy machinery. Every decision could mean the difference between life and death. For minors who participate in substance abuse, they are putting their lives on the line.

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The Issue of Substance Abuse in the Mining Profession

The problem is that many miners don't realize that they're engaging in risky behavior. They may be aware that substance abuse is dangerous. However, for them, the positives they experience frequently outweigh the negatives.

This might be a situation you're currently facing right now. You may be a miner who uses drugs or alcohol. However, you look at it as something you do to unwind.

Maybe drinking alcohol at the end of a long, hot day has become a reward to you. It's possible that you use drugs as a way to deal with the anguish and stress of your job. Regardless of your reasons, doing so is still very dangerous. It's important to learn as much as you can about addiction in the mining industry. This is especially true if you are currently abusing drugs or alcohol. Let's take a few moments and discuss the details of substance abuse and mining. There are probably more miners who share your situation than you might think.

There are certain fields in which addiction and substance abuse are prevalent. It may surprise you to find out that mining is one of those fields. In fact, it's actually one of the fields that ranks the highest.

According to SAHMSA, and a survey that was completed in 2012:

  • 17.5% of miners participated in heavy alcohol use during the course of the last month.
  • This statistic was the highest of all the professions who were studied.
  • 5% of miners reported having used illicit drugs at some point during the last month.
  • 11.8% of miners admitted to being diagnosed with a substance use disorder during the last year.
  • The number of miners who drank heavily has gone up in recent years, from 16.2% between 2004 and 2007.
  • The number of miners participating in illegal drug use has decreased.
  • The number of those in the mining profession with substance use disorders has also decreased.
  • This could be due to the fact that many of them fail to seek addiction treatment and/or a diagnosis.

Clearly, substance abuse is a problem in the mining field. However, it's also clear that little is being done to reduce the number of addicts too.

It's possible that you are a miner who drinks alcohol excessively, or uses drugs. It's also possible that substance abuse is very common among the people you work with. In your mind, you may use this fact as a way to justify your substance abuse. Drinking or using drugs may seem to be a good solution for the issues you're facing in your job. You may be using it as a way to cope, or even just to make it through the day.

The fact is that your addiction is dangerous. It's important to learn why.

Mining Industry and Addiction

What Substances are Miners More Prone to Using?

According to SAMHSA's findings, there are certain substances that miners prefer over others. There are certain drugs that lend themselves to becoming better suited for those in this profession.

Miners are much more likely to use:

There are probably a number of reasons why alcohol is at the top of this list. Alcohol is easy to obtain, as long as you're old enough. It's also a much more socially acceptable drug than others. These two facts alone make it one of the more dangerous substances on the market. Miners who are alcoholics probably don't realize they're alcoholics. They may not see any harm in having a drink at the end of a long, grueling day. They may even bring alcohol to work with them to use on the job.

Whether miners are mining for natural resources, or they're mining for coal, it is a demanding job. It's a job that often results in injuries or sore muscles. For this reason, miners often have to take prescription painkillers to help them cope. They feel they need these drugs in order to keep working. A concerned physician will readily prescribe narcotics to miners to help them get through their shifts. Unfortunately, while opiate drugs are effective, they are also highly addictive. Many miners will become addicted to drugs like Vicodin and Oxycodone without knowing it. They may not even believe that addiction to these drugs is possible. They assume that they're safe because they came from a doctor.

Crystal meth is a known stimulant. It seems as though it might be an unlikely choice for miners. However, in some parts of the world, it has become the drug of choice. Crystal meth works by giving the user an intense rush of euphoria when it is used. In one study that was done in Australia, 38% of their mineworkers are using it regularly. This is a drug that management should keep a close eye on. Use of it is likely to escalate quickly because it is so addictive. Crystal meth can also be viewed as a drug that might help mineworkers cope with the issues they face.

New drugs are showing up on the street all the time. One of these newer drugs is called Nyaope. It is a mix of heroin, rat poison, prescription drugs and methamphetamines. It is becoming increasingly popular among those who work in the mining field. This particular recreational drug is relatively inexpensive. Some even say that it's more affordable than alcohol. This could be why so many miners are opting to use it.

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Are You an Addicted Miner? Signs of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism in the Mining Field

Perhaps you frequently use drugs or alcohol, either on the job or off the job. You've never really thought it was a problem for you. However, now you have to admit that you're concerned. You're wondering if you may be doing some serious damage to your mind and body. It's important for you to learn the truth about your own substance abuse problem. This can be done in a few different ways.

Take a look at the list of addiction symptoms below. Do any of the fit you?

  • Going through withdrawal when you've gone too long without using.
  • Occasionally needing to increase how much you take or drink to get the same effects.
  • Being told by loved ones that you need addiction treatment.
  • Noticing that your substance abuse is starting to impact you on the job.
  • Having relationship problems that are tied to your alcohol or drug use.
  • Feeling that using drugs or alcohol is more important to you than anything else.
  • Missing time at work because of recovering from binge drinking or heavy drug use.
  • Feeling as though you need to use as soon as you wake up in the morning.
  • Becoming isolated from loved ones because you would rather use substances.

If any of these indicators of addiction apply to you, you may be an addict or an alcoholic.

Addiction and Alcoholism Quizzes for Mining Professionals to Consider

If you believe you might be an alcoholic, you can take an alcoholism quiz. If you believe you might be a drug addict, you can take a drug addiction quiz.

Both of these quizzes will give you tremendous insight into your substance abuse behaviors. However, you can also look for some key addiction signs in your own life.

This is important for you to know. Unless you are honest with yourself about your substance abuse, the same patterns will continue. Also, it's not enough to just decide to stop using. Doing so can actually be dangerous. Stopping the use of drugs or alcohol requires professional treatment in a drug and alcohol rehab.

The Dangers of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism in the Mining Industry

Alcoholism and drug addiction is so dangerous for those who work as mineworkers. Without realizing it, they are putting lives at risk every single day that they use. Addicts and alcoholics often think that the only individuals that are affected are themselves. What they don't realize is that their addictions reach much further than that.

Some of the dangers associated with addiction for miners include:

  • Putting themselves at risk when they use heavy machinery under the influence.
  • The risk of losing their jobs if they are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Making poor decisions that can result in accidents or injuries.
  • The risk of harming their co-workers because of the inability to focus on their jobs.
  • The risk of damaging expensive machinery and jeopardizing the safety of the worksite.

Of course, there are many other dangers involved when miners are addicted to drugs and alcohol as well. The mining profession is one that involves great attention to detail and utmost focus. When these are not able to be applied to the job, there are usually serious issues. Far too many miners end up seriously injured, or even losing their lives because of substance abuse.

What Causes Those in Mining Professions to Turn to Alcohol and Drugs?

There are several reasons why miners may turn to alcohol or drugs. Every situation is different, but in general, they may:

Physical pain and poor health in general are common among miners. This can lead to them to take excessive amounts of prescription drugs as a way to cope. It can also lead them to self-medicate by drinking alcohol.

There are many occupations within the mining field that can lead to mental illness. Some positions work in isolation, which can cause depression and anxiety. Other individuals may suffer from PTSD because of situations that occurred at work. Self-medicating these conditions is very common.

There is a great amount of stress involved with mining. This in itself can lead to addiction. Miners often have to adhere to strict deadlines, or they may deal with disgruntled co-workers. They may use drugs or drink alcohol as a way of escape.

The hours involved with the mining profession are long and hard. They are also often irregular. This can lead to poor sleep habits, leaving workers feeling very tired while they're on the job. For these individuals, stimulants might seem like a way to combat the fatigue.

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Barriers to Addiction Treatment for Miners and Others in This Industry

There are several reasons why miners might not want to go to addiction treatment. These barriers to treatment include:

  • Not knowing enough about their conditions to realize a need for treatment.
  • Not wanting to admit to their bosses that they have an addiction. They may be afraid of losing their jobs.
  • Not wanting to stop using alongside other co-workers who use substances.
  • Not knowing of any other way to cope with their health or mental health issues.
  • Feeling afraid of how to get through a shift if they're not using.

Drug Rehab and Alcohol Rehab for the Mining Profession Offers Hope

What many mineworkers don't realize is that employers have learned a great deal about addiction. They understand that addicted miners put their companies at risk. This is why more and more of them are starting to require drug testing to their workers. For miners with addictions, admitting they have a problem that needs treatment is likely to be seen favorably.

Drug rehab and alcohol rehab offers so many great benefits to miners. These include:

  • Having the chance to take a retreat and concentrate on addiction recovery.
  • Learning how to cope with the stress of their jobs in different ways.
  • Learning how to avoid relapsing once they've started the recovery process.
  • Being able to find out the real source of their addictions and get treatment.
  • Meeting others who are also in recovery, and gaining support from them for themselves.

During alcohol and drug rehab, you'll learn so much about addiction in general. You'll come to understand why you have relied on it so much to help you through life. You'll learn why it's become a crutch for you, and how to toss that crutch aside. Alcohol and drugs is not something you need as a part of your life. There is a way to break free from your addiction, and alcohol treatment and drug treatment can help.

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Help for Addicted Miners Through Substance Abuse Treatment

Up until this point, you may not have thought of your substance abuse as a problem. You may have known that you were an alcoholic or a drug addict, but it didn't really affect you. Unfortunately, this is the way a lot of miners feel. Regardless of your actual profession within the mining field, addiction is a hazard that should be avoided. This is true whether you are:

  • Someone who works in the fracking industry
  • Someone working in a coal mine
  • A person who works in a jade mine
  • A mineworker who specializes in the electrician field
  • A blast hole driller
  • An on-site assistant
  • Someone in management or who works as a foreman
  • A maintenance technician

Everyone on this list is at risk when a drug or alcohol addiction comes into play. Many miners use while they're on the job, but even if they don't, the risks are still there.

Addiction treatment for the mining industry can help you tremendously.

Here at Northpoint Recovery, you may feel as though you have your substance abuse under control. However, now your feelings might be changing. Perhaps you've recognized many of the signs of addictions within yourself. You want to change your life, but you're not sure where to turn. We want to help you make that happen.

Even if you have lived most of your adult life in denial about your addiction, you can recover. We understand the demands of your job. We know you work hard, and we want to assist you any way that we can.

Would you like to learn more about drug rehab or alcohol rehab for miners? We'd like to talk with you and answer any of your questions. Please contact us today to get help.

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