Workplace Drug Testing BLOG

An increasing number of job seekers in the U.S. are risking their chances of landing a job because of failed drug tests.

In the latest Drug Testing Index (DTI) data released by Quest Diagnostics, positive results for pre-employment urine drug screening in the country's general workforce rose by 5.7 percent in the first six months of 2012 than in all of 2011. Marijuana continues to be the most commonly detected drug, followed by amphetamines.

"The uptick in U.S. general workforce pre-employment data suggests that employers should be mindful of illicit drug use among prospective employees," Dr. Barry Sample, Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions, said in a news release. "These findings align with recent news reports citing some employers facing increasing drug positives when recruiting new workers."

In January, The Wall Street Journal cited another Quest Diagnostics report that showed many U.S. employers are facing the challenge of finding potential employees because many are failing their drug tests. The problem was particularly worrisome in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

But while pre-employment positive rates have increased, positive results for random drug testing were down by 5.8 percent. In the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, positivity rates in pre-employment urine drug screening remained unchanged from 2011 through the first half of 2012.

Positive results for cocaine oral fluid tests had also dropped by 14.6 percent from January to June 2012, compared to 2011.