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Quest Diagnostics Shows Increasing Trend of Drug Use in America’s Workforce

The percentage of drug usage in working-age Americans continues to increase, according to a recent report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The federal-government research institute works to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply the knowledge to improve individual and public health.

The report shows the staggering results of a national survey on drug use and health trends in prevalence of various drug usage for multiple age ranges. In the 18 to 25-year-old age range, increased usage over the last month was reported in cocaine, hallucinogens, LSD, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. In the 26-years-old and older range, usage over the last month had increased in LSD, Heroin and Methamphetamine. But the trends in these drugs signify a general concern: according to analysis by Quest Diagnostics, workforce drug use in the U.S has now reached a 10-year high.

“Our nationally representative analysis clearly shows that drug use by the American workforce is on the rise, and this trend extends to several different classes of drugs and categories of drug tests.”
-Barry Sample, Ph.D., senior director, science and technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions.

Hair follicle drug tests, reasonable suspicion drug tests and urinalysis tests are just a few variations of employment drug testing that employers can use to avoid hiring drug users. Beyond productivity and efficiency concerns, Sample went on to stress the effect drugs have on safety in the work environment.

“The 2015 findings related to post-accident testing results should also be of concern to employers, especially those with safety-sensitive employees.”

With drug usage in the workforce continuing to rise, properly screening prospective employees plays an increasingly-important role in establishing a culture that your business, and employees can thrive in. Creating that environment requires effective screening protocol that identifies current, recent and/or long-term drug usage alike. Whether you need advanced background checks in Buffalo, NY, urinalysis, E-verify or even NY license verification, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (716) 332-2274 to discuss your specific needs. Establishing quality human resources is integral component of success and our experience in helping employers

Hair Follicle Drug Testing | What’s the Upside?

As we have mentioned, it really is a no brainer to incorporate pre employment drug testing to your potential new hires. Each method of drug testing has it’s own benefits, whether it be cost or turnaround time. Using hair as a specimen for drug testing is beneficial in it’s own way, for a variety of reasons. ESS is here for any questions you may have about any pre employment screening. Here are a few benefits of hair drug tests for employees.

Harder To Cheat. Harder to Beat.

There are countless websites with methods on how to beat a urine drug test. Any head shop nowadays will carry synthetic urine, special diluting drinks that a marijuana user could use within days of the test, and still possibly “beat the test.”

Drug testing specimens can be diluted, substituted (donor uses urine that is not actually theirs), or adulteration (manipulating the urine so drugs cannot be detected).

Bottom Line: Hair specimens are by nature almost impossible to dilute and very difficult to adulterate.

 

Longer Detection Window.

When it comes to laboratory positive detection rates, hair follicle drug testing has a big advantage over urine drug testing. Bottom line, drugs stay in a humans hair longer than it does their urine specimen.

Drugs Detectable in Urine Specimen – 4 Hours – 7 Days

Drugs Detectable in Hair Specimen – 7 Days to 90 Days

Each Drug is different in terms of detection windows, and every person is different as well. Regardless of who you are drug testing, when the last time they used was, etc, using hair follicle specimens as a means of pre employment drug testing will provide an increased hit rate.

Bottom Line: Hair drug testing can increase hit rate, which can lower risk, cost of failed tests, and facilitate a safer workplace for your team.

These are only 2 primary reasons why a company can benefit more from a hair follicle drug test than other forms of pre employment drug tests, but once again, each company profile is different.

Some companies may not need the “scare tactic” of weeding extras out with the public knowledge of a hair drug test. Some companies may need to prevent this as soon as possible, in the hiring process, to avoid hiring the wrong employee. Either way, contact ESS for any further information on drug testing and pre employment screening.

Amidst Officer’s Overdose, BPD Reveals Drug Test Void

Last week at 3am on Friday morning, Buffalo Police and first responders saved a man from overdosing on heroin. In the thick of an epidemic facing the region – almost 400 heroin related overdose deaths since 2014 – this was the first time that emergency services were provided to a Buffalo Police officer.

The 26-year-old man had been a member of the Buffalo Police Force for the last two years. He was saved by being administered two doses of Narcan, an opiate antidote, and is luckily recovering. The daunting event sheds even more reality of the problem of substance abuse in the region, having a man employed to prevent such events from happening overdose himself.

With the story surrounding the man’s overdose, questions were raised when it was revealed that no one employed by the Buffalo Police Dept. has been drug tested for over two years.

The last doctor who administered random drug tests to Buffalo Police left his contract two years ago, leaving the position void, and meaning no one would be drug tested.

Another officer aware of the overdose of his comrade had this to say, reported by the Buffalo News.

“The department has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, and something like this really is shocking. Right now, we are in shock mode. This is unheard of.”

How could the department have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs without any form of employment drug testing?

“This is the first time we have had an officer who had taken heroin. We’ve had other officers in the past who have lost their jobs because they tested positive for marijuana or cocaine, but this is the first time we’ve had heroin.”

The department normally conducts random drug testing on officers at least once a year, but haven’t for over two years. Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy claimed that finding a new source for drug testing is a top priority.

“The city is hoping to have a new medical review officer in place by April or May and the plan is to have 100 percent testing every year for four years,” Kennedy said.

The role of a medical review officer is to set the protocol for testing and examine lab test results to verify if anyone has violated the department’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use. Mayor Byron Brown didn’t directly answer why the position hasn’t been filled for over two years, but he had this to say, as reported by WGRZ.

“We have an RFP that’s in the field. The language in the RFP has been agreed to by the police management and the PBA,” said Brown. “We expect to have a doctor retained soon to do that kind of work.”

The fact that the officer survived the overdose is extremely fortunate, but it is baffling how no drug testing has been administered to Buffalo Police Officers for over two years. There are countless benefits to pre employment, reasonable suspicion, and random drug testing. It almost always benefits the employer, in the sense of weeding out any suspected substance abuse of their employees, but with the rise in overdose related deaths in Western New York, drug testing also ensures the safety and wellbeing of the employees themselves.

 

For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase for 2nd Consecutive Year

Decades long decline shows possible reversal in workforce drug use.

The percentage of American workers who tested positive for illicit drugs increased for the second consecutive year in the U.S. workplace. This comes from a study based on over 10 million pre employment and employment drug tests by Quest Diagnostics. Employment drug testing significantly decreases the risk involved in hiring a new employee that could cost you money, and damage your reputation.

“American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types. In the past, we have noted increases in prescription drug positivity rates, but now it seems illicit drug use may be on the rise, according to our data,” “These findings are especially concerning because they suggest that the recent focus on illicit marijuana use may be too narrow, and that other dangerous drugs are potentially making a comeback.”

-Robert Dupont, former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Urinalysis tests, hair follicle drug tests, and reasonable suspicion drug testing are a few variations of employment drug testing that employers use to avoid hiring drug users.

Illicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine are clearly associated with impaired physical and cognitive functions. Dupont went on to talk about the risks involved with employees who use these illicit drugs, in our outside of the workplace.

“The increases in illicit drug positivity in employment drug testing should get employers and policymakers to take notice of the serious risks these drugs create for productivity, health and safety,”

With trends showing an increase in positive drug test results, now is the time to ensure your potential new hire, or current employee pool is drug free. The only way to verify the trust between you and your team is to instill a drug testing policy. For information about pre employment drug testing, urinalysis tests, hair drug tests, or any employment verification services, please give us a call at 716-332-2274.