Drug Use By Workers Increasing
For the second year in a row, the percentage of American workers with drugs in their systems rose last year, according to Quest Diagnostics Lab, a drug testing company.
Out of 6.6 million urine drug tests collected from U.S. working adults in 2014, 4.7 percent tested positive for illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines. In 2013, that figure was 4.3 percent, which had represented the first rise since 2003.
Marijuana was found to be the most widely used illegal drug at 2.4 percent, up from 2.1 percent in 2013. The urine tests also showed an increase in cocaine use, from 0.22 percent in 2013 to 0.24 in 2014. However, “across all specimen types,” the amphetamine increase is the “highest level on record” that the lab has seen.
Researchers noted that in the past, they have seen high amounts of positive results for prescription drugs, but based on the results, it seems illicit drugs are catching up. The lab conducted the study using urine, oral fluid and hair drug tests.
While the data come from a large sample size, it's worth noting that the analysis is limited by the selection of the testing population. The results reflect only workplaces in which employers have drug-testing.