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Drug Testing Reveals Drug Abuse in the Workplace

Quest Diagnostics is a national drug testing company that analyzes samples from the workforce throughout the country. Employees and potential employees are often asked to submit to a drug test either before they are hired as well as throughout their employment randomly or if there is suspicion of use. In addition to providing a snapshot on workforce drug using, the test results also shine a light on how effective or ineffective current drug prevention techniques appear to be working.

According to some of their latest statistics, positive tests for marijuana use has increased by 25%. This is likely due to the more states approving marijuana use, and an opinion of the potential risk or harm caused by marijuana by the general public. However, marijuana use on the job is still an issue for employers, even in those states, as it often leads to a problem with short term memory, distraction, and a decrease in cognitive abilities. This usually translates into poor job performance, mistakes and accidents in the workplace.

Marijuana was found in 45 percent of U.S. workers who tested positive for a substance last year. The rates of detection for amphetamines and heroin have also gone up since 2011, with amphetamine positive tests rising to 44 percent and heroin detection rising by 146 percent. In addition to showing that drug use is increasing among employees who are getting drug tested, this study reveals that there is more work that needs to be done to prevent people from abusing them. With many people are entering the workplace for the first time, some of this may fall on parents.

Drug testing one’s children is often viewed as an extreme measure, reserved for habitual users that have a history with drug abuse. However, some experts suggest that drug testing children prior to heavy drug use may be beneficial.

“I think parents hesitate to test their children, because they don’t want to accuse them or anything like that. But when you read about the deaths, you wonder what happened before that…It just seems like, overall, in society, we need to be a little more cognizant and spend more time observing the situation,” commented Jon Helm, ARCpoint Labs of Herndon director.

Of course, drug testing may not be for everybody, but experts believe that this is one method that is underutilized when it comes to preventing or stopping drug use among teenagers. At the very least it is a tool for measurement to analyze the current drug culture among a group of people, whether that be new hires, teens, people in treatment, people on probation or other populations.