Richard is a recovering alcoholic who has worked in the construction industry for fourteen years. His bravery and honesty will touch you whether you are dealing with an addiction yourself or know of someone who is. The addiction doesn’t need to be alcohol for this episode to be relevant for you.
Two top addiction healthcare specialists from the UK and USA are part of the conversation. Both of whom have a lot of respect for Richard’s courage for not only speaking out on Constructive Voices, but also for accepting his addiction and finding the tools available to him to deal with it.
This episode will give you a deeper understanding of the issue of addiction in the construction industry. Richard’s lived experience will resonate with some of you and the honest, in-depth discussion with him and the healthcare experts is enlightening.
It is clear that no one should feel ashamed of an addiction according to all of our experts. The shame is not to feel okay to seek support.
Richard also highlights the fact that in his case, as in many others, his addiction can be linked to various mental imbalances.
I drank every day for about five, six years, I think and I thought I was doing it successfully working in the construction industry, I was working in the offices as a technician, I didn’t really think I had a problem, which is the case with many addicts, they often are quite deluded and think that there’s no issue.
Employees of the construction industry, mostly blue-collar workers, have nearly twice the rate of substance abuse as the national average. Around 15% of all construction workers in the United States have a substance abuse disorder compared to 8.6% of the general population of adults, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Other statistics from this study pertaining to construction workers include:1-2
These statistics are reflected in other countries as well.
Richard has also experienced the ongoing feeling of:
Keeping it secret, not opening up about it- it’s all been about fear of losing your job, essentially, that’s what it’s been for me. Just creating an environment where people don’t feel that fear, they feel safe, that if they’re serious about doing something about it, that they’re gonna get the support they need, and they’re not going to be thrown away in some way because that’s what I was scared off and that’s what I’m still scared of, you know.
More and more of our construction workers have gone from full employees to quote contracted labor. And so what happens in those cases are that the employer really even stops doing any kind of drug testing. And there isn’t an investment in making sure that there’s a healthy workforce.
Lucas Trautman, MPH, has an extensive background in addiction and general psychiatry and is a regional authority in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. His expertise and reputation for delivering high-quality, compassionate care, will ensure our patients receive top-notch psychiatric care to achieve the best health outcomes.
Dr. Trautman, a fourth-generation physician and Memphis native, was previously a privately practicing psychiatrist treating children, adolescents, and adults in an office that prided itself on being a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.
His work also includes psychiatric services for orphanages in Southeast Asia, young athletes throughout the Hawaiian Islands, mental conditioning for a Memphis high school wrestling team, and a youth minister.
He received his medical degree from the UT Memphis Health Science Center College of Medicine, and a master’s in public health from Tulane University’s world-renowned school of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
When Dr. Trautman is not treating patients, he is very active in the community. He is the owner and head coach of Stardust Jiu Jitsu in Memphis, where he mentors a team of more than 200 children and adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Credentials & Education
• University of Tennessee Memphis Health Science Center College of Medicine: MD
• Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine: MPH
We work in an extremely dangerous industry and being addicted to either alcohol or drugs, increases the danger of accidents. And that’s why there needs to be in my opinion, a lot more training amongst management.
Marc Preston BA(Hons) MRICS MBCIB MBACP is dual professionally qualified as a chartered Quantity Surveyor and is a qualified registered member counsellor of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Marc spent several years as a volunteer counsellor working for a charity specialising in dealing with alcohol addiction
Marc is a recognised expert in standard forms of contracts within the construction industry. He has reached senior levels within Plc construction firms and has dealt with several high-profile complex multi-million-pound construction projects.
Marc has developed an expertise in dispute resolution acting as party representative in construction disputes.
Marc is currently undertaking a level 5 diploma in Adjudication with a view to being appointed to industry adjudication panels as part of his on-going commitment to CPD.
Over the last 20 years Marc has set up and successfully run a small number of SME’s and has developed a reputation for innovative approaches. Marc developed the multi-platform mobile phone Q Surveying app and the first on- line Quantity Surveying consultancy.
Marc is a champion for mental health in the construction sector and was asked by representative bodies to deliver webinars during the pandemic.
Marc contributed to the Be guide to risk management. Marc also contributed to the BACP Good practice in action guide No 55 “making the contract in the counselling professions”
Marc has a strong network of connections and is well known having over 8,400 connections on LinkedIn.
You can also reach out to him via his website:
Written by: Jackie De Burca