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SMITHKLINE BEECHAM INDEX SHOWS DRUG USE DECLINE FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR

 SMITHKLINE BEECHAM INDEX SHOWS DRUG USE DECLINE
 FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR
 PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fifth straight year, the percentage of American workers and job applicants testing positive for illegal or abused drugs declined in 1991, SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories announced today. The results showed that 8.8 percent tested positive for drugs, the first time the percentage has dropped below 10 percent since large-scale testing began in 1987.
 The SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index(C), which has analyzed test results for more than 6 million people in the past five years, also showed that cocaine use dropped only slightly in 1991 and at a lower rate than any other drug.
 The overall drug-positive rate of 8.8 percent compares with 18.1 percent in 1987, 13.6 percent in 1988, 12.7 percent in 1989 and 11 percent in 1990.
 "Since 1987, when SmithKline Beecham began collecting this data, we have seen more than a 50 percent drop in the percentage of workers testing positive for drugs," Harry Groome, president of SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, said.
 "While that is encouraging, it is of great concern that we found 56,000 people on the job or looking for jobs positive for cocaine last year. And most of these people knew in advance they were going to be tested for drugs," he said.
 Included among the more than 2 million individuals tested by SmithKline Beecham in 1991 were 400,000 workers and applicants in "safety-sensitive" transportation jobs regulated by the federal government. The Drug Testing Index showed that 2.6 percent of these workers -- airline pilots and mechanics, truck drivers, railroad workers and others -- were positive for one or more illegal drugs.
 This represented a decline from 1990 when 2.95 percent of transportation workers and applicants tested were positive for at least one of these drugs: cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines and the hallucinogenic tranquilizer phencyclidine (PCP).
 A federally mandated program that began in December 1989 required testing of workers in certain "safety-sensitive" transportation jobs. Employees of small trucking companies were tested for the first time in 1991.
 Other findings from the Drug Testing Index:
 -- Marijuana and cocaine continue to be the most commonly detected drugs. About 56,000 people of the 2.2 million (2.6 percent) tested by SmithKline Beecham throughout the country were positive for cocaine last year, down only slightly from the 2.7 percent who were positive for cocaine in 1990. About 67,000 people were positive for marijuana in 1991 (3.1 percent of all tested), down from 3.7 percent in the previous year.
 -- Of those testing positive for drugs in the general work force, 29 percent were positive for cocaine in 1991, compared with 24.3 percent in 1990; and 34.6 percent for marijuana, a slight increase from 33.8 percent in 1990.
 -- Among transportation workers and applicants testing positive, 34 percent were positive for cocaine (up from 28.7 percent in 1990); and 46.8 percent were positive for marijuana, an increase from 44.8 percent in 1990.
 -- Among transportation workers and applicants, the 2.6 percent who were positive was considerably lower than the 10.3 percent of workers and job applicants tested in the general work force who were positive for one or more of 10 drugs.
 -- All regions of the country showed declines in drug use. The most dramatic drop was in the West where the percentage testing positive for drugs dropped from 12 percent in 1990 to 7.3 percent in 1991. In the Northeast, 8.7 percent tested positive (11.9 percent in 1990); in the Southeast, 9.8 percent (10.4 percent in 1990) and in the central portion of the country, 8.7 percent (10.4 percent in 1990).
 The Drug Testing Index is based on tests analyzed in 18 of SmithKline Beecham's 24 U.S. laboratories. The company has tested more than 6 million people for drugs since 1987, more than any other company in the United States. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., is a unit of SmithKline Beecham (NYSE: SBH), a world leader in health care.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/10/92
 /CONTACT: Tobey Dichter of SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, 215-962-7511, or 800-877-7478 or, after hours, 215-922-1633; or Ellen Lathem of Hill and Knowlton, 202-944-5101, for SmithKline Beecham/
 (SBH) CO: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories ST: Pennsyalvania IN: HEA SU:


MK -- DC013 -- 8225 02/10/92 11:03 EST
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Date:Feb 10, 1992
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