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Positive Drug Tests For Marijuana, Meth, And Cocaine Is At Its Highest In America, According To Quest Diagnostics

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Since 2017, more American workers have tested positive for marijuana, meth, and cocaine. The rates for the usage of opiates has declined over the past 10 years.   ( Ulises Ruiz | AFP/Getty Images )

According to a new report by the Quest Diagnostics, a diagnostic information service, more workers have tested positive for drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana.

The report showed that in 2017, the rate for the number of workers in the United States that had tested positive for these drugs was at its highest in 10 years, but the opioid rate has decreased.

Drugs In Workplace

The analysis of more than 10 million drug test results was done by Quest Diagnostics.  It was discovered that 4.2 percent of employees and applicants had a positive drug test, and it matched 2016's rate. As for opiates, the rate of how many Americans tested for it dropped considerably to 17 percent, which is a positive result considering the current opioid epidemic in the United States.

Certain states in the Northeast, Midwest, and the South are seeing a rise in the amount of employees who are using these unsafe drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. For methamphetamine, about 0.5 percent of employees tested positive in 2007, but the number increased to 1.1 percent last year. In regards to cocaine, the national rate for the amount of people that have tested positive decreased over the past decade. However, it has increased in certain states such as North Carolina and Texas.

For marijuana drug tests, the rates of the positive ones drastically increased, particularly in the states that recently legalized it. Overall, the national rate of positive marijuana test was at 2 percent in 2017. This may not be a problem in the future, as more and more companies won't be requesting weed drug tests.

Drug Rates In New Jersey

For New Jersey, the rate of positive drug test dropped from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent in 2017. However, certain places in New Jersey have the highest use of drugs than the national average. Positive tests for marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine have heavily increased since 2013. Ocean County is the highest for positive drug tests at 5.5 percent.

Barry Sample, senior director of science and technology at Quest, stated that the changing patterns may make it more difficult for employers to ensure a healthy and safe work environment.

"It's unfortunate that we mark 30 years of the Drug-Free Workplace Act with clear evidence that drugs continue to invade the country's workplaces. Not only have declines appeared to have bottomed out, but also in some drug classes and areas of the country drug positivity rates are increasing," Sample stated.

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