Steep rise in drug use among American workforce

The rampant use of illegal drugs has reached a new high according to figures obtained from the Quest Diagnostics’ latest Drug Testing Index. The details were obtained after an examination of drug test results of an estimated 11 million people and were shared online on September 15, 2016 by the company. The results revealed at the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) annual conference held in Louisville, Kentucky indicated use of drugs has reached the highest level in the last 10 years.

The observations were reported after an investigation of de-identified results of more than 9.5 million urine samples, 900,000 oral fluid specimens and 200,000 hair laboratory-based tests performed on a national level by the company for employers in 2015.

Assessment of the urine drug tests revealed an increase in drug abuse to four percent in 2015 compared to 3.9 percent in the previous year and an increase by 14 percent compared to the lowest incidence of 3.5 percent in 2010 and 2011. Representatives of the diagnostics firm said that the positivity rate in urine samples in the total U.S. workforce was equal to or surpassed four percent as compared to 4.1 percent observed in 2005. Drug testing of employees after they had recovered from  accidents also showed positive results in 2015 which is 6.2 percent more as compared to that obtained in 2014. The figures obtained in 2015 show a 30 percent rise since 2011 when the positivity rate was only 5.3 percent.

Positivity rates for illegal drugs such as heroin, amphetamines and marijuana have shown a steady rise among American workers since 2011 with the positivity rate for amphetamines up by 44 percent, increase in marijuana prevalence by 26 percent and incidence of heroin use by a whopping 146 percent. In addition, approximately 50 percent of American workers who had tested positive for any drug substance in 2015 exhibited confirmation of marijuana use.

Increasing prevalence of drug use is a cause for concern

Explaining the findings, Barry Sample, Quest Diagnostics’ senior director of its employer solutions unit said, “Our nationally representative analysis clearly shows that drug use by the American workforce is on the rise, and this trend extends to several different classes of drugs and categories of drug tests. The 2015 findings related to post-accident testing results should also be of concern to employers, especially those with safety-sensitive employees.”

Though results did not indicate much increase in opioid use by employees, the increase in the number of heroin users is a cause of concern considering findings of prior studies that indicate non-medical prescription opioid abusers resorting to the cheaper alternative, heroin. The increase in heroin use needs to be looked at carefully by both health care providers and law enforcement agencies considering the possibility of dependence on other substances.

The rise in marijuana use was originally attributed to the initial decriminalization of marijuana use in American states such as Colorado and Washington. The information was, however, refuted after observing that positivity rates for marijuana use among American workers had not increased in these states since 2014.

Scope of recovery

There is an imperative need to ensure timely treatment of drug abuse to prevent deterioration of physiological and psychological conditions resulting from abuse. Though treatment methods are mostly customized according to the needs of the patients and the extent of addictive habits manifested by them, detoxification is the first step in every addiction treatment process. Though the detoxification process may be uncomfortable, it is necessary to remove toxins from the body. The detoxification process should be conducted under medical supervision.

Detoxification can be natural or medicated or a combination of medicinal procedures combined with various therapeutic interventions. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is time to seek assistance from the best detox and rehab centers in California. You may get in touch with the California Detox Helpline for immediate assistance. You may call our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495 or chat online with representatives to find drug rehab centers in California and rapid detox centers in California.