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Use of Methamphetamine Among U.S. Workers and Job Applicants Drops 22 Percent in 2007 and Cocaine Use Slows Dramatically, Reports Quest Diagnostics
Date:3/12/2008

se of amphetamine in the general workforce has increased slightly, by about five percent. Testing for methamphetamine and amphetamine was conducted among employees and applicants in the U.S. workforce tested for the class of drugs called amphetamines.

"Although some may conclude that there is a reduced availability for methamphetamine, the fact that our data show an increase in amphetamines suggests that some workers might be replacing one stimulant drug for another in the larger drug class of amphetamines," said Barry Sample, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics' Employer Solutions division.

Methamphetamine and amphetamine are both types of stimulants, which typically are used by individuals to increase alertness and relieve fatigue. Stimulants are also used for euphoric effects or to counteract the "down" feeling of tranquilizers or alcohol. Possible side effects of stimulants include increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils and decreased appetite. High doses may cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, loss of coordination or collapse. Indications of possible misuse may include excessive activity, talkativeness, irritability, argumentativeness or nervousness.

Cocaine Use Continues to Decline

The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index shows that the percentage of positive tests for cocaine was down 19 percent among the U.S. general workforce since the first half of 2007 - the largest single-year drop since 1997. Positive tests for cocaine among the general workforce declined to 0.58 percent in 2007 from 0.72 percent in 2006.

Overall Drug Use Remains at All-Time Low

Additionally, drug use by employees remains at its lowest level since Quest Diagnostics began publishing the Drug Testing Index in 1988. Among the combined U.S. workforce, only 3.8 percent of the tests had positive results -- the same level reported in 2006 -- compared to a high of 13.6 percent in 1988. F
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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