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Drug Use Among American Workers Declined 74% Over Past 25 Years, Finds Unprecedented Analysis of More Than 125 Million Workplace Urine Drug Tests
Date:11/18/2013

nsistent with other studies, including a 2012 Quest Diagnostics Health Trends analysis of more than 75,000 test results from patients tested for compliance through the company's prescription drug monitoring services. This report found that the majority of Americans misused their prescription medications, including opioids and amphetamine medications.

The DTI report also found that changing positivity rates often mirrored larger developments in drug use in the U.S. For instance, a decline in drug positives for methamphetamine observed in 2005 roughly coincided with federal and state efforts to crackdown on so-called "meth labs" and put over-the-counter medicines – such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine – behind the pharmacy counter.

"While this 'Silver Anniversary' Drug Testing Index underscores the nation's progress in reducing the prevalence of drug use in our country's work environments, there is a danger in becoming complacent in response to this good news," said Dr. Barry Sample, director of science and technology for Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions, a business of Quest Diagnostics. "Our data shows that an increasing number of workers are testing positive for certain prescription drugs, such as opiates and stimulants, reflecting the increased use, and potentially abuse, of prescription medications in the U.S. We also know from other research that the steep declines in our data's overall drug positivity rates would likely not be observed in workplaces that do not have workplace drug testing programs."

"Some industries such as the restaurant industry have adopted an attitude that drug use in their industry is something they cannot control. The fact remains that drugs in the workforce contribute to industrial and other accidents, not to mention employer costs and liability," said Mary Brown-Ybos, director of
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
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