There is bad news in the Annual Quest Diagnostic Drug Testing Index . Drug test positivity rates are at an all-time high.
We have listed below some scary statistics from tables included in this survey.
The first category represents the results of urine drug testing for the General U.S. Workforce. The second category represents the results of oral fluid drug testing for the General U.S. Workforce.
First some overall observations should be mentioned. The general overall positivity rates for urine drug testing increased 3%. While the general overall positivity rates for oral fluid drug testing increased 19%. Overall oral fluid drug testing appears to have found 94% more positives than urine drug testing. We have written a blog article about the effectiveness of oral fluid drug testing and why it is so effective here
Secondly, note how much more effective random drug testing is than pre-employment drug testing alone. For urine drug tests, the random positive rates are 5.5% versus pre-employment drug testing with positive rates of 4.2%. So, if you use urine drug testing you get more bang for your buck, so to speak, when you do random drug testing. Random drug testing results in a 31% increase.
Thirdly, is a comment about drug testing in general. Individuals in your organization with substance abuse issues can take a heavy toll on your business reputation and your profit goals. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, drug abuse in the workplace costs employers approximately $81 billion each year in lost productivity. The Society for Human Resource Management has stated that just one illegal drug user can cost your firm more than $13,000 per year in increased time-off, accidents, worker compensation claims and use of your health program. We have a post here that addresses the questions of drug testing effectiveness And, we have a post here containing some reasons to drug test.
Urine Drug Tests for General U.S. Workforce (Nearly 7 million tests from January to December 2015)
Table 2. Positivity Rates By Testing Category
Table 4. Positivity Rates By Testing Reason
Testing Reason 2015
For Cause 31.9%
Return to Duty 6.3%
Oral Drug Tests for General U.S. Workforce
Table 13. Positivity Rates By Testing Category – (More than 900 thousand tests from January to December 2015)
Table 14. Positivity Rates By Testing Reason
(More than 900 thousand tests from January to December 2015)
Testing Reason 2015
For Cause 22.1%
Return to Duty 9.2%