Many businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find applicants who can pass a pre-employment drug test. According a recent article in Briefings magazine, “the country has a growing drug problem, and it is spilling over into the workplace in ways many companies doing large-scale hiring have not anticipated.”
Dr. Barry Sample, Senior Director of Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics, told Briefings that in different markets, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to identify people through their screening who are not using drugs.
The latest Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) analysis revealed a 10-year high for overall positivity in the combined U.S. workforce and the fifth straight year of increases in detection rate of amphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. Media, government, and other research sources echo the DTI’s insights about the trend of escalating drug use in America. For example:
- 2016: The Institute for a Drug-free Workplace releases a statement saying, “More workers are getting high and the corresponding impact on worker and public safety is correspondingly getting higher.”
- 2016: The first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health highlights addiction and substance use disorders. Its findings estimate that more than 27 million people in the United States used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs.
- 2016: The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) published its most recent data which found that 10.6 percent of full-time employees and 13.2 percent of part-time employees aged 18 or older reported using illicit drugs within the past month.
- 2015: The Wall Street Journal reported rising workplace drug use and the reversal of a long trend of declining use among workers.
- 2014: Publications such as Occupational Health & Safety and HR Executive report that workforce drug test positivity rates are up for the first time in a decade.
Substance abuse in the workplace costs employers billions of dollars annually with negative impacts such as higher absenteeism, lower productivity, and a greater risk for accidents or injury. As the country faces a mounting drug problem, drug-free workplace programs attempt to filter out drug users and deter substance abuse in the workforce.
Read the full Briefings article: A Test That Too Many People Fail.