The latest Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ insights

Increases in illicit drugs, including cocaine, drive workforce drug positivity to highest rate in 12 years

In examining the latest data, Barry Sample, Ph.D., Senior Director of Science and Technology at Quest Diagnostics, said, “This year’s findings are remarkable because they show increased rates of drug positivity for the most common illicit drugs across virtually all drug test specimen types and in all testing populations.” Key insights include:

• Cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine use is up broadly among the U.S. workforce across multiple drug test specimen types and testing populations.
• The positivity rate for cocaine in post-accident urine drug tests was more than twice that of pre-employment drug tests in both the federally-mandated, safety-sensitive and the general U.S. workforces.
• In Colorado and Washington, the first states in which recreational marijuana use was legalized, the overall urine positivity rate for marijuana outpaced the national average in 2016 for the first time since the statutes took effect.
• Marijuana positivity increased nearly 75 percent in oral fluid testing.
• Between 2012 and 2016, methamphetamine positivity climbed 64 percent in the general U.S. workforce and 14 percent among federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workers.

The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index reveals insights into patterns of drug use among the American workforce. It has been published annually for more than 25 years as a public service for government, employers, policymakers, and the general public.

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