These states have the most workers using illegal drugs

These states have the most workers using illegal drugs

These states have the most workers using illegal drugs

More American workers are testing positive for drug use, according to Quest Diagnostic studies.

Quest Diagnostics, based in Madison, N.J., released its annual nationwide analysis of more than 10 million workforce drug-test results.

It showed that 4.2 percent of drug tests came back positive last year, up from 4 percent the year before and the highest rate since 2004, when it was 4.5 percent. Heroin is concentrated around Rockford.

Positive results for marijuana in the US general workforce rose by nearly 75 percent to 8.9 percent in 2016 from 5.1 percent in 2013 in oral fluid testing, which detects recent drug use. Positive tests for the drug reached 2 percent previous year, compared with 1.6 percent in 2012.

Although methamphetamine positivity in urine testing declined between 2005 and 2008, the positivity rate plateaued between 2008 and 2012, and has increased steadily since.

"Some weeks this year, 90 percent of applicants would test positive for something", ruling them out for the job, said Laura Stephens, a human resources manager for the company in Denver. The drug was identified in 2.5% of all urine tests in 2016, which is up.1% in comparison to 2015. For workers federally mandated to be tested because they hold safety-sensitive positions, such as pilots and bus and truck drivers, positive marijuana tests grew to 0.78 percent from 0.73 percent.

Furthermore, positive results for marijuana have been climbing for three straight years, and in states where recreational use is legal - such as Colorado and Washington - the results are double the national average. "There is no substitute for vigilance in any effective effort to thwart the potential impacts of workplace substance abuse", Matt Nieman, general counsel for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace and an attorney with the workplace law firm Jackson Lewis, said in the report.

"We still see some employers who say, 'We wouldn't have any workers if we tested for marijuana, '" Fletcher said. The increases come against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an apparent resurgence. It is followed by Vermont and Maine.

For an interactive map that shows urine drug test positivity by 3-digit zip code in the United States, visit http://www.QuestDiagnostics.com/DrugMap.

Positive cocaine tests also have increased, for the fourth consecutive year in the general workforce and the second year for safety-sensitive workers. More troubling, testing officials said, the positivity rate for cocaine in tests taken after work site accidents was more than twice that of pre-employment drug tests, and higher than the rate in random tests.

Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina had the highest rates of positive cocaine tests.

Amphetamine use continued its year-over-year upward trend, increasing more than 8% in the general USA workforce in urine testing. Alabama and OR had the highest rates (6.3 percent), followed by Arkansas (6 percent), North Carolina and Vermont (both 5.7 percent), and Louisiana and SC (both 5.6 percent).

The drug-testing data are part of the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index, which the company will present this week at the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association conference in Florida.

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