Stay Connected: Special Feature Article (Dec 16)

Did you know that nearly one-third of all opioid related deaths in Ontario among those employed were from the construction industry? According to a news release from Public Health Ontario on July 27, 2022, nearly one in three opioid related deaths in Ontario between 2018 and 2020 occurred among construction workers. The release also stated that deaths among construction workers are primarily being driven by the unregulated drug supply, not pharmaceutical opioids prescribed for pain. Canada continues to face a rapidly growing opioid crisis and more specifically, a need for industry-level response to the ongoing overdose crisis within the construction industry.

This is where the De Novo Treatment Centre has stepped in, helping those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction achieve lifelong recovery. De Novo Treatment Centre is a substance abuse treatment service operated as a partnership between management and unionized members of Ontario’s construction and building trades. They serve unionized construction workers, employers, and their immediate families.


“In 1991-92, the original union to start the activity that resulted in the De Novo concept was the United Association Local 46 in Toronto. As they got into discussions on how to help their members, they realized this was a construction industry issue and they involved other trades, mostly from Toronto. That group realized, I think, that workers from across the province would benefit from assistance so the issue then involved the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.”
Patrick Dillion, former Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction
Trades Council of Ontario, and Chair of theDe Novo Board of Directors 


Located in Huntsville, Ontario, De Novo seeks to provide hope, strength, and tools for their clients in need of new beginnings, and to help them move forward on their journey in recovery. De Novo offers a wide variety of programs that include a residential addiction treatment program, aftercare and continuing care program, youth addiction treatments and a family program. Their website is full of wonderful resources for anyone, and everyone, affected by addiction in one way or another. They provide 24/7 resources for those in crisis and reiterate that you are no longer alone.

You Are No Longer Alone is an inspiring half hour documentary discussing the top five drivers of addiction and suicide in the construction industry identified by De Novo’s recent research project. Click the video below to watch.

People with mental illness are twice as likely to have a substance use problem compared to the general population. Mental health, suicide and addiction struggles have become increasingly prevalent in recent years and there has been an increased need for support, especially in the construction industry, as it has been disproportionately impacted.

For more information on De Novo and their programs, visit their website here. For a list of resources, please click here.