Drug Data Suggests Shifting Landscape
Quest Diagnostics’ latest data (based on more than 10 million U.S. drug-test results) suggests a shifting pattern of drug use.Prescription-opiate-positivity rates, meanwhile, declined dramatically on a national basis.
Dr. Richard Chaifetz, CEO of ComPsych, a Chicago-headquartered employee-assistance-program provider, says he is cautious about the drop in opioid use for two reasons. First, he says, the federally mandated testing for opioids started only in late 2017 and second, synthetics were not included.
Further, he adds, the study reflects a short period of time that may not connote a trend and because it is limited to employers that do drug testing, it doesn’t reflect more general opioid trends.
That said, Chaifetz points out that the overall analysis is further evidence that drug use is still a problem. His advice to HR leaders: Be cognizant of the increase in usage in the categories mentioned and make sure you have the right solutions in place, including employee assistance programs, to identify and provide intervention for people displaying behaviors consistent with drug use.
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