Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions- Issue 50

Issue 50
Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index® finds cocaine use at 10-year low among U.S. workers
An unprecedented decline in cocaine use by American workers drove use to a new low during the first half of 2007, according to the
"Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index: Cocaine Use Among America's Workers - A Special 2007 Mid-Year Report."

Quest Diagnostics developed the report partly at the prompting of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. It describes positivity rates among workplace drug tests for cocaine performed by Quest Diagnostics. The report does not assess positivity rates for other drugs among U.S. workers nor does it take into account the numerous employers that do not have drug screening programs in place. With this in mind, it is important to note that data from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that respondents whose employers do not have a drug testing program reported a nearly 50 percent higher incidence of illicit drug use within the last 30 days compared to those with drug testing programs.

The latest findings are based on the results of more than 4.4 million workplace drug tests for cocaine performed by Quest Diagnostics and show that positivity for cocaine declined 20.7 percent among federally mandated, safety-sensitive workers, to 0.46 percent for the first six months of 2007. Among the general workforce, positivity for cocaine declined 15.3 percent, falling to 0.61 percent over the same period.

"Not only did the positivity rate fall to its lowest level since Quest Diagnostics began reporting on cocaine rates a decade ago, but the decline was also truly across the board, falling by double-digits in all but one of nine regions of the country," said Barry Sample, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology for the Employer Solutions division of Quest Diagnostics. "While it is too soon to point to a trend, the significant decline in positivity rates in different workforce categories and across regions may suggest that our nation's workers are choosing to not use cocaine or that they lack access to the drug."

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