Drug Test Results Show Continued Positive Results Drop

March 7, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A continued decline in positive drug test results for the amphetamine class of drugs among safety-sensitive workers, coupled with a decrease in positive marijuana drug test results among the general U.S. workforce, drove workplace drug use to a new low in 2006.

A news release from the Lyndhurst, New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics said those were the main findings of its annual Drug Testing Index. The company offers employer drug test services.

class=”text”> The latest results showed that positive test results for amphetamines (positive test results for amphetamine and methamphetamine as a percent of all tests for the substance) declined 20% to hit to a new low level among federally mandated, safety-sensitive workers – 0.28% in 2006, down from 0.35% in 2005, the announcement said.

class=”text”> The press release said that among the general workforce, positivity for amphetamines declined 12.5 % from 0.48% in 2005 to 0.42% in 2006. In addition, the number of positive tests for marijuana, as a percent of the total number of tests for the drug, was down 6.3% among the U.S. general workforce compared to 2005 – to 2.38% from 2.54%.

class=”text”> Overall, the testing data indicated that drug use by employees and applicants fell to the lowest level since Quest Diagnostics began publishing the Drug Testing Index in 1988. Of all urine workplace drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics during 2006 for the combined U.S. workforce, 3.8% had positive results, compared to 4.1% in 2005 and 13.6% in 1988.

class=”text”> “We believe this continued decline in workforce drug positivity may be driven by two factors: increased employer vigilance about the impact of workplace drug abuse on liability and the cost of decreased productivity and the possibility that those who abuse drugs may tend to avoid employment at companies that actively conduct drug testing,” said Barry Sample, Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics’ Employer Solutions division, in the news release.

class=”text”> According to Quest, amphetamines belong to a category of drugs known as stimulants, which are used by individuals to increase alertness, relieve fatigue and feel stronger and more decisive. Amphetamines include the drugs amphetamine, dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine, and their variations. Methamphetamine is typically produced clandestinely for illicit use.

class=”text”> The 2006 Drug Testing Index summarizes the results of more than nine million workplace drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics between January and December 2006.

class=”text”> More information is at www.questdiagnostics.com .