Positive Drug Test Results on the Rise According to Study

The percentage of positive drug tests among American workers has increased for the first time in more than a decade, according to the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index. The Index, released September 8, comprises 8.5 million urine, oral fluid, and hair samples, and points to a rise in marijuana and amphetamine use among employees.

Marijuana positivity increased 6.2 percent nationally in urine drug tests, but by double digits in Colorado and Washington. “It is possible that relaxed societal views of marijuana use in those two states, relative to others, may in part be responsible for the recent increase in positivity rates,” says Dr. Barry Sample, director, science and technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions. “Yet, this doesn’t explain why both states also experienced steep rises—and declines—in positivity in recent years … What we do know is that workforce positivity for marijuana is definitely on the rise across the United States.”

Disturbingly, the Index states that the increase in amphetamine positives comes from an increase in methamphetamine use, not legal amphetamines, such as Adderall. On a positive note, the positivity rate for oxycodones—which includes semi-synthetic opioids such as OxyContin—declined 8.3 percent.