SMITHKLINE BEECHAM DRUG TESTING INDEX SHOWS TREND FLAT FOR U.S. WORK FORCE
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- After four years of steady decline, for the first time the trend line is virtually flat this year for illegal or abused drugs detected in the U.S. work force, as measured by the SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index(C). "In testing of more than 2-1/2 million samples for job applicants and workers throughout the U.S., we found 8.76 percent tested positive for illegal or abused drugs in 1992. We found a positive rate among workers of more than 18 percent in 1987 and it's been steadily declining one or two points each year since. Now, in 1992 we may have reached a plateau," said SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories President W. Vickery Stoughton. This year's rate of drug prevalence was 8.76 percent. In 1991 the prevalence was 8.81 percent. In 1990, it was 11 percent, down from 12.7 percent in 1989. In 1988, 13.6 percent, down from 18.1 percent in 1987. "The federally mandated transportation workers have always tested lower than the general work force," Stoughton added, "and their rate for 1992 was 2.66 percent, similar to previous years, so the real issue is among other workers where drug testing and education programs are not mandated. If you take out the relatively lower rated transport workers, the balancnical Laboratories to detect the most commonly abused drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories also released this year for the first time findings on tests submitted from the transportation industry for random testing, as well as periodic announced testing, post accident testing, and testing for reasonable suspicion. "As one might imagine, the positive rate in random testing (2.45 percent) is higher than announced periodic testing (1.63 percent) of employees," Stoughton said. "But importantly, post-accident testing (3.87 percent) yields a rate that is 50 percent higher than that of a work force tested at random.
And, 14.29 percent of those tested for cause based upon reasonable suspicion' were positive."
The company noted that these breakdowns are based on its testing of more than one-half million transportation workers and applicants. Although laboratory results can be reversed by medical review, the vast majority, particularly the most common drugs, marijuana and cocaine, tend to remain positive throughout the process. The SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index also tracks which drugs are most prevalent and compares areas of the country. Year-end 1992 showed some geographic shifts, with a small drop to 7.9 percent in the Northeast, a modest decrease in the West to 7.12 percent, a slight decline in the Southeast to 9.55 percent, and a small increase in the Central region to 9.03 percent. Of drugs detected, marijuana continues to be the most prevalent (39.5 percent of all drugs found was marijuana), with cocaine 26.5 percent of all drugs found. Some slight increase in amphetamines was noted. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, with drug testing facilities in 18 of its 24 laboratories, has performed more drug testing than any other company in the United States. The company's six federally (HHS) certified laboratories are located in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and St. Louis. The Drug Testing Index is released every six months as a service for government, media and industry. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories is a major sector of SmithKline Beecham, one of the world's leading health care companies. SmithKline Beecham discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human and animal pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medicines as well as clinical laboratory testing services. FACT SHEET SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index(C) Trend and Rate Charts January - December 1992 Drug Trends: Drug-Positive Rate By Year Over the last six years, SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories has tested more than eight million samples from American workers. Over that period, and based on those samples, the overall drug-positive rate has declined significantly. The Drug Testing Index is released every six months as a service for government, media and industry. Year Drug Positive Rate 1987 18.1 percent 1988 13.6 1989 12.7 1990 11.0 1991 8.8 1992 8.76 Prevalence Rates Testing Category 1992 1991 Safety-sensitive transportation workers 2.66 pct. 2.6 pct. General workforce 10.44 10.26 Combined U.S. workers 8.76 8.81 Positive Drug Test Results by Testing Category Safety-Sensitive Transportation Jobs (More than one-half million tests) Testing Category 1992 Pre-employment 3.11 percent Periodic (those pre-warned) 1.63 Random 2.45 Post-accident 3.87 For cause 14.29 Returned to duty 2.68 Positive Results by Geographic Region Region 1992 1991 Southeast 9.55 percent 9.8 percent Central 9.03 8.7 Northeast 7.9 8.7 West 7.12 7.3 Positive Results by Drug Category (For transportation workers in safety-sensitive jobs) Drug Category 1992 1991 Marijuana 50.6 percent 46.8 percent Cocaine 29.61 34.0 Opiates 12.78 13.4 Amphetamines 4.52 3.4 PCP 2.50 2.2 General Workforce Including Transportation Workers in Safety-Sensitive Jobs (More than 2.5 million tests) Drug Category 1992 1991 Marijuana 39.48 percent 34.6 percent Cocaine 26.50 29.0 Benzodiazepines, class of drugs includes tranquilizers: Valium and Librium 12.42 13.5 Opiates 9.60 10.0 Barbituates 4.81 5.7 Propoxyphene (e.g. Darvon) 2.20 2.2 Methadone 2.04 2.3 Amphetamines 2.24 1.8 PCP 0.68 1.0 Methaqualone 0.04 0.04 -0- 2/10/93 /CONTACT: Tobey Dichter of SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, 215-962-7511 or 800-877-7478, or home, 215-922-1633/ (SBH)
CO: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:
TS -- NY002 -- 5049 02/10/93 10:02 EST
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|Date:||Feb 10, 1993|
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