Quest Diagnostics Reports Workforce Drug Positivity Rising, Yet Again

As partners to Quest Diagnostics, ESS likes to follow the trends in workforce drug screening. As we’ve seen in past reports, it seems that some particular drugs have been popping up more and more as of late. Quest provides a published journal called the Drug Testing Index (DTI) that provides insight into drug use across the country. Every year for the last 30 years Quest publishes this report as a public service for employers, government, policymakers, media, and the public.

Highest in Ten Years

Increases in particular drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana have continued the trend of positive tests for workforce drug testing. According to this years DTI, drug use by the American workforce remains at the highest rate in over a decade. This is unfortunate in accordance with the 30 year anniversary of the Drug-Free Workplace Act.

“It’s unfortunate that we mark 30 years of the Drug-Free Workplace Act with clear evidence that drugs continue to invade the country’s workplaces. Not only have declines appeared to have bottomed out, but also in some drug classes and areas of the country, drug positivity rates are increasing.”

  • Barry Sample, Ph.D., Senior Director of Science & Technology at Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions

Here are a few notable findings from the study, which draws from over 10 million workplace drug test results.

  • Cocaine positivity rates increased for the 5th consecutive year, in every specimen type
  • After a 30 year low in 2012, positivity rate remained at 4.2%
  • Marijuana positivity continued it’s 5 year upward trajectory
  • Marijuana positivity was higher in states that enacted new recreational use legislation
  • Methamphetamine positivity skyrocketed in Midwest and Southern States

Being that drug test positivity rates are at a decade long high, it’s clear that any business, large or small, should ensure they’re hiring great employees by drug testing ahead of time. It’s also suggested to provide random drug tests following the hiring process, just to be sure your employees are maintaining their dedication to a healthy mind and body, as well as obeying the law. Your company’s reputation rests on the backs of the individuals who keep the ship afloat, and that’s why you need to screen your employees. For more information on employment drug testing with ESS, just give us a call or reach out via our contact form!

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