Michigan companies can’t fill jobs because too many people can’t pass a drug test, screams a headline reposted to Crain’s Detroit Business from Bridge Magazine. It’s not just idle chatter, either; the article under that headline quotes data from Quest Diagnostics’ Drug Testing Index, as well as workplace experts and state officials in Michigan. The problem may be especially acute in Traverse City, MI, but for reasons that would be applicable to any number of other parts of the country. Chris Hindbaugh, executive director of Traverse City Addiction Treatment Services, told Bridge, “If you look at the national data, drug use in [service industries], is higher. So, being that the service industry is a driver of our economy here locally, there’s higher rates” of positive drug screens among the city’s workers and job applicants. And, in fact, Quest notes that in 2016 the rate of employment-related positive drug tests was higher (4.2%) than any year since 2004 (4.5%). Urgent care providers who offer occupational medicine services should be especially vigilant in tracking their own data, in order to help make the case that their services have never been more valuable, but also that this is the time for employers to establish protocols for dealing with employees who test positive (including encouraging those workers to test positive to get treatment). For insights into urgent care’s place in fighting widespread addiction across the country, read The Potential Role of Urgent Care in Addressing the Opiate Epidemic in this month’s JUCM.
Rising Positive Drug Tests Are Affecting Hiring Practices in Michigan