Credit employees in the U.S. for getting better at passing drug tests over time.
Quest Diagnostics, a medical testing company, says that U.S. workers have grown quite savvy about passing drug tests, because the drop in people testing positive for illegal drugs during random tests and pre-employment screenings does not correspond to government statistics that indicate use is on the incline.
According to Quest data, the number of employees testing positive for drugs has dropped significantly since 1988, with just 3.5 percent of samples coming back positive last year compared to 13.6 percent 25 years ago. Despite this decline, positive tests for Vicodin and Oxycotin have risen by 172 percent and 71 percent since 2005. Furthermore, positive tests for prescription drugs such as Adderrall doubled between 2002 and 2012.
Even with prescription drug use growing, studies show that up to 80 percent of positive tests for opiates and amphetamines are ignored because the users have valid prescriptions. "Even when used under prescription, these drugs can have an impact on workplace safety," Quest report director of drug-testing technology Dr. Barry Sample explained.
Meanwhile, employees are patting themselves on the back for dodging the consequences of drug tests like LeSean McCoy does defenders.