Study: Workplace drug use at a 12-year high

A lot of things have changed over the years in the United States and the workforce is among them.

Many job trends have come and gone, but one study believes drug use in the work place has now reached its peak in over 12 years.

According to The National Law Review, a study by drug testing company Quest Diagnostics indicated the rate of positive drug test results has increased among the U.S. workforce, and is at a 12-year high – it’s moved by the increases of marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine.

The study by Quest Diagnostics has been around since 1988, analyzing over 10 million drug tests nationwide, but only for employers who use Quest Diagnostics as their drug testing choice.

General U.S. workforce, the federally-mandated, safety-sensitive and the combined workforce were all examined.

In 2016, the overall positive urine samples for drug testing increased five percent from 2015, which represents the highest annual rate since 2004.

Between 2013 and 2016, marijuana in the general workforce increased by nearly 75 percent for oral testing which detects remnants of recent drug use. It also increased 10 percent in the federally mandated and safety sensitive workforce. 

With 2016 in the books, the year became the fourth consecutive year cocaine increased in the general workforce, which was a 12 percent rise from the previous year.

"The study’s results track an alarming trend that highlights the continued need for vigilance for signs of use and abuse in the workplace as well as comprehensive prevention, testing, and treatment programs," according to The National Law Review.

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