Our By the Numbers blog series takes a closer look at the numbers, facts, data, and outputs that impact workplace drug testing programs. In this post, we examine the environmental impact of moving from paper-based custody and control forms (CCF) to electronic custody and control forms (eCCF).
Paper-based CCFs have been a mainstay of the drug testing industry since its inception in the 1980s, when the Reagan Administration passed the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency.” In 2016, Quest Diagnostics processed more than 11 million workplace drug tests. Moreover, on average, we supply our employer clients with 1.5 paper forms for each drug test conducted. And while a single 5-part paper form may not seem like much, 16.5 million such forms add up—and the environmental impact is dramatic. If eCCFs were used for every Quest Diagnostics drug test performed instead of paper CCFs, 10,000 trees could have been saved in 2016 alone. Expanding the calculation to the entire drug testing industry, an estimated 42,000+ trees could potentially be saved each year.
Quest Diagnostics has been investing in and providing eCCF (formerly known as eReq) to non-regulated employers for nearly a decade, and we launched eCCF for regulated, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug tests this January. eCCF is currently available for DOT urine, non-DOT urine, Express Results™ Online, oral fluid, and hair drug tests from Quest Diagnostics.
For more information on drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.
The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) is arguably the industry’s longest standing, most frequently relied upon resource for drug trends in the American workforce by policymakers, media, employers, and the general public. The DTI examines positivity by drug category, testing reason, and specimen type. Since its inception in 1988, this report has analyzed millions of drug test results and tracked the evolution of our industry.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is also a trusted source for national and state-level estimates of alcohol and illicit drug use. NSDUH’s data fuels efforts for drug prevention, treatment, and research communities. Key questions for employers in the NSDUH data include an individual’s employment status and whether or not a company has a workplace drug testing program.
Dr. Barry Sample, Senior Director of Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics, reviews DTI data in conjunction with NSDUH results to compare positivity trends and self-reported drug use over time. The latest DTI data revealed steady increases in overall positivity in the combined U.S. workforce that reached a 10-year high. The NSDUH survey results also support the DTI findings with year-over-year increases of self-reported drug use since 2012. In addition, the DTI called attention to increases in marijuana positivity during the past five years. NSDUH also indicates higher self-reported use for marijuana with 22 million Americans identifying as current users.
Dr. Sample re-emphasizes these conclusions from the NSDUH data:
- Overall employee drug use in society is rising among employers without a drug testing program.
- There is typically a 30 to 45 percent higher occurrence of self-reported drug use for respondents who work for an employer without a drug testing program.
- Self-reported marijuana use, the most commonly detected drug by the DTI, has increased year-over-year since 2010.
Since the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, drug use among American workers has declined 74 percent. Workplace drug testing programs have proven to be valuable tools to deter drug use and promote safe and healthy environments. Data from the DTI and NSDUH showcase the importance of screening applicants and current employees for drug use and continuing to remain committed to drug-free workplaces.
Download the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index 2016 report.
For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.