Highest Drug Positivity Rate in Twenty Years – The National Law Review

According to a new Quest Diagnostic Study analyzing workplace drug test results in 2021, employers saw the highest rate of positive drug test results in twenty years. The study was based on more than 11 million urine, hair and oral fluid drug tests collected during calendar year 2021.  Of the seventeen industries tracked, all but mining saw an increase in overall positivity rates from 2017 to 2021.  Although the overall positivity rates rose by only 1.8% since 2020, they were 12% higher than in 2017 and have risen steadily over the past five years.
Not surprisingly, positive marijuana test rates continue to increase.  Positive urine drug tests for marijuana climbed to the highest rate ever recorded.  Over five years, positivity for marijuana in the general U.S. workforce increased 50%.  Positive marijuana test results doubled or more than doubled in six of the seventeen industries tracked: Transportation and Warehousing; Finance and Insurance; Utilities; Accommodations and Food Services; Retail Trade; and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services.  Accommodations and Food Services topped the lists with a 7.5 % marijuana positivity rate.
The Retail Trade industry saw the highest overall drug positivity rate at 7% and also saw a 55.6% increase in positive methamphetamine drug tests between 2017 and 2021.
Encouragingly, the positivity rates for heroin and other opioids over the past year decreased or stayed the same across all workforces.
The overall positivity rate for the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce (which includes federal employees and certain transportation industry employees) increased in 2021, with notable increases in positive rates for marijuana, amphetamines and cocaine.
Most concerning, over the last five years, all industries experienced a 17.4% increase in positive test results for pre-employment drug tests and a 26% increase in positive test results for post-accident drug tests.  Similarly, in the federally mandated safety-sensitive workforce, pre-employment positivity increased 9.5% since 2017 while post-accident positivity increased 41.9% during that time.
About this Author
Stacey J. Lococo is an Associate in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including pre-litigation claims, litigation, and preventative advice and counseling.
A trained social worker, Ms. Lococo earned her master’s degree in nonprofit management and administration from Rutgers University and worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations in both fundraising and administrative capacities for seven years. Ms. Lococo’s work with diverse…
As a woman owned company, The National Law Review is a certified member of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council
You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review’s (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC’s  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on www.NatLawReview.com are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  
Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is www.NatLawReview.com  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 
Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.
The National Law Review – National Law Forum LLC 3 Grant Square #141 Hinsdale, IL 60521  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 or toll free (877) 357-3317.  If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *