… What are the latest statistics and the latest trends regarding drug use and drug testing? At the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA merged with NDASA in 2023) conference this past May in Miami, Dr. Barry Sample presented key findings from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI).
View the video below to see comments from Joe Reilly, Dennis Bennett and Phil Dubois.
Some key findings from Dr Sample’s presentation:
- Overall positivity rate increasing sharply, suggesting a potential reversal in the decades’ long decline in workforce drug use
- Upsurge in positivity for marijuana, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines (specifically methamphetamines)
- Reversal of a steady increase in positivity for opiates such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxycodone
- Consistency between the DTI analysis and self-reported substance abuse from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
Dr Sample is to be congratulated for his annual publication of the Drug Testing Index, his leadership and vision. He has shaped the DTI report into what it is today — our industry’s preeminent resource for drug use trends and analysis.
The data shows that employees in the Unites States 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. This increase in illegal drug activity in employment drug testing should get employers and policymakers to take notice of the serious risks these drugs create for productivity, health and safe workplaces.
The Quest data suggests that illicit drug use among workers is increasing for the first time in years in the United States. Employers should consider revisiting existing drug free workplace policies to ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to protect their workplace, employees and businesses