Random drug testing for controlled substances is a very powerful tool in your arsenal to provide a safe environment for your associates and other third parties. It is significantly more effective in discovering individuals who are substance abusers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced a reduction in the in the minimal annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. The random rate for controlled substance testing is now pegged at 25% instead of the previous rate of 50% for that particular population of workers.
Their reasoning for doing so is that the positive rate for controlled substances random testing fell below the 1.0 percent threshold for 3 consecutive calendar years.
BUT while the result of positive testing for controlled substances has fallen for drivers of commercial vehicles, the result of positive testing for the U.S. General Population has not.
Published annually for more than 25 years, the Quest Diagnostics Survey Drug_Testing_Index_2015 examines positivity rates for workplace drugs tested by the company on behalf of employers. Quest Diagnostics publishes these findings as a public service for government, employers, policymakers and the general public. The positivity rate in the general U.S. workforce increased overall by 9.3 percent, to 4.7 percent in 2014 compared to 4.3 percent in 2013. Last year was the first year since 2003 in which the overall positivity rate increased in the general U.S. workforce.
Other insights from the analysis include:
- Marijuana positivity increases nationally for the second consecutive year.
- Cocaine positivity rises sharply across all testing
- Methamphetamine and heroin positivity rates continue upward trend
So if individuals in your workforce are part of the overall U.S. General Population we DO NOT think that you should reduce the random testing rates.
To quote from the Quest Analysis
“The percentage of American workers testing positive for illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine has increased for the second consecutive year in the general U.S. workforce, according to insights from more than 10 million workplace drug test results released today by Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. The analysis suggests a potential reversal in the decades’ long decline in the abuse of illicit drugs in the United States workforce.
The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index shows that the positivity rate for approximately 6.6 million urine drug tests in the general U.S. workforce increased overall by 9.3 percent, to 4.7 percent in 2014 compared to 4.3 percent in 2013. 2013 was the first year since 2003 in which the overall positivity rate for urine drug tests increased in the general U.S. workforce. In addition, overall positivity for oral fluid and hair drug tests, representing approximately 1.1 million tests, increased between 2013 and 2014 in the general U.S. workforce.
American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types. In the past, we have noted increases in prescription drug positivity rates, but now it seems illicit drug use may be on the rise, according to our data,” said Dr. Barry Sample, Director, Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions. “These findings are especially concerning because they suggest that the recent focus on illicit marijuana use may be too narrow, and that other dangerous drugs are potentially making a comeback.”