Greater number of U.S. workforce is testing positive for illegal drugs

More of the U.S. workforce is testing positive for drugs, according to lab tests at Quest Diagnostics.

For the fifth straight year, the detection rate of amphetamine and heroin rose, while marijuana increased by 47 percent since 2013.

The analysis of 11 million workforce drug test results from 2015 shows a steady increase or a 10-year high in positive results, Quest said in a statement.

Here are some of the insights from the test results:

* Positivity rate was 4 percent in 2015, compared to 3.9 percent in 2014 for urine tests.

* The last year that positivity rate for urine tests was at or more than 4 percent was 2005.

* Post-accident urine test have been increasingly positive for drugs, from 6.5 percent in 2014 to 6.9 percent in 2015.

* An increase from 6.7 percent to 9.1 percent in marijuana positivity.

* Almost 45 percent of workforce tests were positive for marijuana in 2015.

“This report shows a welcome decline in workplace drug test positives for certain prescription opiates but a disturbing increase in heroin positives. This rise in heroin should concern both policymakers and employers. Substance abuse is a safety risk for everyone. This new workplace evidence is an additional sign of the rising national heroin problem, this time in the workplace,” said Robert DuPont, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement through Quest.

Mark de Bernardo, executive director of the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, said the numbers underscore the threat to employers and employees from drug abuse and should provide a wake-up call to all.

Source:     Sept.16 2016

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