More U.S. workers reportedly are testing positive for illicit drugs than at any time in the last 12 years.
Meanwhile, the number of workers who tested positive for marijuana rose by 4%, while positive results for other drugs also rose, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The increases come against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an apparent resurgence in the use of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine,” the Journal reported.
In 2016, 4.2% of the 8.9 million urine drug tests that Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest workplace-testing labs in the nation, conducted on behalf of employers came back positive, up from 4% in 2015. It is the highest rate since 2004, when 4.5% of tests showed evidence of potentially illicit drug use.
Marijuana remains the most commonly used drug among U.S. workers and was identified in 2.5% of all urine tests for the general workforce in 2016, up from 2.4% a year earlier.
"This year's findings are remarkable because they show increased rates of drug positivity for the most common illicit drugs across virtually all drug test specimen types and in all testing populations," said Barry Sample, PhD, senior director, science and technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions.
"Our analysis suggests that employers committed to creating a safe, drug-free work environment should be alert to the potential for drug use among their workforce."
(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).
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