More American workers are failing tests for illegal drugs these days than in many years. Quest Diagnostics reports that 4.2% of the 8.9 million employee drug tests it administered last year came back positive; that’s the highest rate since 2004. Marijuana remains the most prevalent, though other drugs are also on the rise. This is especially surprising, given the fact that so many states have looser laws on marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes. The data also indicate a resurgence of cocaine and methamphetamine, specifically. Barry Sample, PhD, Quest’s senior director for science and technology, suggested that the data should serve as a wake-up call for employers committed to running a drug-free workplace (especially when it comes to employee and public safety). Urgent care operators who offer occupational medicine might consider whether this gives them more ammunition to add drug screens to their menu of client services.
Occ Med Providers: Workers Are Failing Drug Tests More Often