The aim of this study is to analyze and understand opioid-related deaths in Barnstable County for the purpose of identifying groups at disproportionate risk and to then provide insight and recommendations for addressing these risks. The results reveal an over-representation of opioid-related deaths among persons working in the trades and service industries and among those with a high school-only level of education. Within the trades/services occupational categories persons employed in the construction trades appear to be at particularly high risk of death from opioid-related overdose. The percentage of decedents employed in the Construction trades is greatly in excess of their representation in the workforce.
With this study, the Barnstable County Department of Human Services presents preliminary recommendations to the Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council (RSAC) to prevent and reduce the risk of opioid misuse and opioid-related deaths among two inter-related groups: straight-to-work (STW) youth/young adults and workers in the trades and service industries. Members of the STW population enter the workforce in the trades and services occupations in high numbers.
The Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council (RSAC) links towns, providers, organizations, and individuals on Cape Cod to identify and address regional gaps and disparities in the service provider system, and to maximize inter-agency collaboration, funding, and resource opportunities. RSAC facilitates a regional approach to substance use across the continuum of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery.