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Drug Use in U.S. Workforce Hits Highest Levels in 12 Years

Cocaine, meth among narcotics seeing marked increases in drug tests.

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More U.S. workers are just saying yes to drugs, according to a new study from Quest Diagnostics.

Drug use in the workforce has reached its highest rate in 12 years, results gleaned from more than 10 million workforce drug test results show. It’s a five percent increase year over year, and marks the highest rate since 2004.

It isn’t just reefer-smoking teenage supermarket clerks, either, as much of the steady increases are in altogether harder and more dangerous drugs. Cocaine found in urine testing rose for the fourth straight year, increasing 12 percent year over year. Methamphetamine positives also rose eight percent. Heroin, on the other hand, held steady, and even dipped “among federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workers,” per the report.

Marijuana was the biggest gainer, with a rise in tested use of 75 percent between 2013-16. There is, however, a legal explanation: The rise seems due in part to the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington states.