Drug Use Increases In Workplace

Workplace drug use increased during 2000, reversing a steady, decade-long decline, according to the semi-annual Drug Testing Index released July 2001 by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated.

From 1988, when the survey began, through the end of 1999, the annual positivity rate -the proportion of positive test results to all drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics – declined from 13.6% to 4.6%. However, during 2000, the overall positivity rate increased slightly to 4.7%.

All of the increase occurred in the general U.S. workforce, which excludes federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workers, such as pilots, bus and truck drivers and workers in nuclear power plants, for whom routine drug testing is mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The positivity rate for the general workforce increased from 4.8% to 4.9% in 2000.

“In the 13 years that we have been measuring drug use in the workplace, this is the first time we have seen an increase in the rate of positivity,” said R.H. Barry Sample, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics’ Corporate Health and Wellness division. “This appears to be due to an increase in drug use among current general workforce employees.”

The positivity rate for the general workforce increased even more sharply in three key segments of on-the-job drug testing: “for cause,” which indicates reasonable suspicion; “post-accident”; and “random drug testing.” For these three categories, the rate of positivity in the general workforce went up 9.1%.

The Drug Testing Index is released every six months as a service for government, media and industry, and is considered a benchmark for national trends. Additional company information can be found on the Internet at: www.questdiagnostics.com.

For information about the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Drugs Don’t Work Program, contact Shelley Davis, 770-532-6202 or sdavis@ghcc.com

Printed in part from Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. as a service of the National Drug-free Workplace Alliance.

Related Information http://www.questdiagnostics.com