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Drug counsellor testing urine for traces of drugs.
Drug counsellor testing urine for traces of drugs.  Photograph by Photofusion—Getty/UIG

More Workers Are Testing Positive for Drugs Than in the Last 12 Years

May 18, 2017
TIME Health
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More American workers are testing positive for drugs than they have in the past 12 years.

According to an analysis from Quest Diagnostics, urine tests among the U.S. workforce had a positive result rate of 4.2%, the highest since 2004, when 4.5% of urine tests tested positive for drugs. This was also an increase of 5% from 2015 to 2016.

Colorado and Washington, which were the first two states to legalize marijuana, have outpaced the rest of the country's average in the growing trend of positive drug test results for marijuana. Colorado saw an 11% increase and Washington saw a 9% increase in drug tests showing positive results for marijuana. The national average increased by just 4%.

While marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine use yielded more positive drug-test results than years prior, heroin detection remained at the same rate.

"This year's findings are remarkable because they show increased rates of drug positivity for the most common illicit drugs across virtually all drug test specimen types and in all testing populations," said Barry Sample, senior director of science and technology for Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions.

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