Study: Fewer Workers Using Cocaine and Marijuana, But Prescription Drug Use Is Up

New study shows increased use of prescription meds in workers

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Fewer workers than ever are testing positive for illegal drugs at work.

A new study found that the rate of U.S. workers testing positive for cocaine and marijuana has fallen sharply since 1998, but prescription drug abuse may be on the rise, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Quest Diagnostics study found that use of amphetamines, found in drugs like Adderall, among workers has more than doubled since 2002. Vicodin use on the job rose 172% and OxyContin rose 72%. since 2005.

Despite the decrease in marijuana detection at work, more people than ever say they smoke pot. The Department of Health and Human Services found that 7.3% of Americans admitted to smoking marijuana in the last month, up from 5.8% in 2007.

As more states relax restrictions on recreational marijuana use, some employers are facing a conundrum in crafting drug policies. Workers in safety-sensitive industries are prohibited from using marijuana regardless of state law, but employers in other industries are must decide whether smoking pot on the weekend should have professional consequences.

[WSJ]

4 comments
AngelaJShirley
AngelaJShirley

I have mixed opinions as far as the legalizing of pot, but no matter what is done - people will find a way to feed their addictions whatever the addiction may be. I am all for RANDOM drug tests on job sites that SAFETY is in question. Who wants a "high" subway driver - not me. When it comes to my SAFETY, I have ZERO tolerance for anything that may jeopardize my safety. Whether it is pot or prescription drugs or over the counter (stuff to make you sleep or keep you awake) - humans are RESPONSIBLE for themselves and should face the consequences when they don't. Personally I don't want to live in any location where pot is legalized. People already have enough issues going in in their lives, I know I do - without adding the effects of pot to the mix. I saw too many children getting the wrong end of this set up - going hungry, homeless and so on due to the adult who was suppose to take care of them. Now as far as taking pot for pain that nothing else can take away, yes - within reason and again under a doctor's care. Too many patients are PRETENDING to need their prescription and then selling it. Sad indeed when so many veterans are needing medical help and cannot get it. Excellent article and gave me a lot to think about. Career Counseling

DebraRincon
DebraRincon

It's only going to get worse, cause Doctors these days don't want to treat the problem? They just throw some MEDS At it, hoping you will GO AWAY! What on earth is the MEDICAL FIELD Coming to. Drug companies profits are more important than Patients for many Years now! I don't see an END in sight. Deb in Portland OREGON USA.

Concerned100
Concerned100

Sign of the times. Even the Addicts cannot afford their habit.