The proportion of positive drug test results in the US workforce in 2021 reached its highest level since 2001, according to an analysis published on Wednesday by Quest Diagnostics.
Based on nearly 9 million urine drug tests collected between January and December 2021, the study found that the overall positivity rate of the combined U.S. workforce increased by 4.6% in 2021 compared to 4.4% in 2020, and an increase of 31.4 % from the lowest time ever. at 3.5% just 10 years ago.
The overall degree of positivity in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, based on nearly 2.7 million drug tests in urine, remained steady year-on-year at 2.2%. In the general U.S. workforce, positivity increased by 1.8% (5.5% in 2020 versus 5.6% in 2021) and was 12% higher than in 2017 (5.0% in 2017 versus 5.6% in 2021) and increased each of the past five years, according to Quest Diagnostics.
Barry Sample, senior science consultant for Quest, said in a statement that the study results highlight trends such as increased drug positivity in the safety-sensitive workforce, including those performing public safety and national safety, as well as higher positivity rates in individuals tested after work accidents.