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Five facts about workplace testing trends: Annual survey offers reason for concern about cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

1 The 30th annual release of Quest Diagnostics' Drug Testing Index in May showed that overall positive test rates in the U.S. workforce remain up from all-time lows in 2012. The overall positivity rate stayed at 4.2% for the second consecutive year in 2017.

2 Positive tests for cocaine increased for the fifth straight year in the general U.S. workforce, with the numbers based on Quest's own deidentified lab data. Cocaine positives in federally regulated safety-sensitive job categories increased by 11% in 2017.

3 Methamphetamine-positive tests have climbed significantly in some regions of the country. The largest regional increase between 2013 and 2017, at 167%, occurred in a Midwest area that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

4 Positive tests for marijuana increased by 4% from the previous year in the general workforce and by nearly 8% in the safety-sensitive workforce. Rates increased most prominently in several states that recently adopted recreational marijuana laws, especially in Nevada.

5 There was some promising news in declining rates of positive tests for opioids in the general workforce--a 17% drop between 2016 and 2017. "The depth of our large-scale analysis supports the possibility that efforts by policymakers, employers and the medical community to decrease the availability of opioid prescriptions and curtail the opioid crisis is working to reduce their use, at least among the working public," says Quest Diagnostics scientific director Kim Samano, PhD.

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Title Annotation:NEED TO KNOW
Publication:Addiction Professional
Date:Sep 22, 2018
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