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Drug Abuse Surveillance

Workforce drug positivity rates, influenced by illicit drug use, are the highest in 12 years. Barry Sample, PHD, Quest’s Senior Director of Science and Technology, states, “this year’s (2017) findings are remarkable because they show increased rates of drug positivity for the most common illicit drugs across virtually all drug test specimen types and in all testing populations.”

He went on to say, “our analysis suggests that employers committed to creating a safe, drug-free work environment should be alert to the potential for drug use among their workforce.”

■ 9.1% of full-time and 13.7% of part-time employees aged 18 or older reported illicit drug use within the past month

■ Employees who use drugs are 2.5 times more likely than other non-abusing co-workers to be absent for 8 or more days

■ Drug abusers are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident at work and 5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.

■ 44% of abusers have sold drugs to other employees. 18% have stolen from co-workers to support their habit.

■ Positivity Rates for Federally-Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce and the General U.S. Workforce are at a 10-year high.

It is important to not only be aware of the increase in positivity rates but, if you have facilities in multiple states, take into consideration a particular region’s “drug of choice”. Geographical variations are evident in the statistics, if you are choosing your drug test panel, be aware of those variations. Cocaine, Methamphetamines and Marijuana all show increased positivity rates overall and should be part of your drug test panel. Don’t forget the popularity of e-cigarettes and the ability to convert them from tobacco to cannabis. Be aware of what your employees are vaping at work. Give CIC a call to discuss your drug testing needs. We have hundreds of collection sites throughout the United States with our network of Quest and LabCorp labs.

If you suspect there is a drug problem in your workplace, we can help you, just as we have helped so many others.

Carolyn Klemett is the coordinator of our Pre-employment Screening Services at Corporate Intelligence Consultants. For more information about this article, Surveillance, Drug Screening, or general Employment Screening Services, please contact Carolyn at 1.800.573.2201 / 419.874.2201.

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