In Philadelphia’s building trades, construction workers are helping their colleagues battle addiction

October 3, 2018

Michael Rossi, on a stairway near a job site in Philadelphia.

By Staff

Last year, as a construction apprentice learning to install insulation and remove asbestos, Michael Rossi injured his knee. After telling his coworkers he would be out for a few weeks for surgery, one man pulled him aside.

“He said, ‘You’re an apprentice, you need the money, why not go to a doctor and get something and mask the pain,’ ” Rossi recalled. “And I had to tell him, that’s not really an option for me. I was coming up on five years of sobriety. I’d struggled with painkillers. The last thing I wanted to do was get a script for them.”

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