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Workers Testing Positive for Drugs Reaches High

Quest Diagnostics recently released data reflecting that U.S. workers and job applicants testing positive for drugs, including opiates, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, hit a 14 year high at 4.4% of the workforce. The drug testing company looked at nearly nine million urine tests to compile its results.
An analysis of the data reveals that since 2014, marijuana use among U.S. workers increased by 16% to include 2.8% of workers. Marijuana was the biggest increase by 24% over that same five-year period amounting to .88%. Marijuana is legal in approximately ten states for recreational use with more states likely to join. The increase in marijuana use is challenging for employers, as they try to navigate public safety with employee protections. The main compound in marijuana, THC, can apparently be stored in the body for months and it is not yet known whether urine tests can distinguish between someone currently high on marijuana or had been used sometime in the weeks before the test.
In better news, U.S. workers testing positive for opiates decreased by 21% between 2017 and 2018 and is down 37% since the high in 2015. Employees testing positive for heroin also declined. A Quest analysis from late last year showed the highest rates of positivity occurred in retail, health care, and social assistance jobs.