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Cocaine Use Among U.S. Workers Declines Sharply in 2008, According to Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index(TM)
Date:5/6/2009

Disorder (ADHD). Similar trends are seen with the increased use and abuse of pain medications."

Employers that implement drug testing programs do so for a variety of reasons, most often to protect the health and well-being of employees and avert business risk associated with drug-induced judgments. The 2008 DTI summarizes 7.3 million urine drug test results of the U.S. workforce, including both the general U.S. workforce and federally mandated safety-sensitive workforce, which includes pilots, bus drivers, and nuclear power plant operators. The DTI looks at 'recent use,' as measured by laboratory analysis of a urine sample, which detects drug use within the prior one to three days.

Sustained drop in overall drug use

Overall recent drug use in the combined U.S. workforce has sustained a 19-year decline since Quest Diagnostics first published the Drug Testing Index in 1989, summarizing data from 1988, when 13.6 percent of workers tested positive for drug use. In 2008, 3.6 percent of the combined U.S. workforce tested positive in a urine drug test compared to 3.8 percent in 2007. Experts credit effective drug testing programs with positively influencing worker behavior and, in recent years, have cited law enforcement's impact on the decreased availability and increasing costs of illicit substances as a factor in recent drug use declines.

Cocaine and methamphetamine use decline sharply; amphetamine use increases

Positivity rates of recent use of cocaine in the general U.S. workforce dropped 29 percent (0.58 percent of all urine drug tests in 2007 to 0.41 percent in 2008) continuing a steep decline. In 2006, 0.72 percent of urine tests showed recent use of cocaine. While methamphetamine positivity in the general U.S. workforce also dropped 21 percent (0.14 percent in 2007 to 0.11 percent in 2008), the positivity rate for amphetamine increased more than 12 percent, from 0.40 percent to 0.45
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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