Inside Retail Services News

Retail workers record highest positive test rates for drug use

Retail workers showed the highest workplace drug use positivity rates from 2015 to 2019, according to a report by Quest Diagnostics.

The positivity reports ranged from 4.7% in 2015 to a high of 5.5% in 2019, the report concluded. The rate of workforce drug positivity hit a sixteen-year high in 2019, according to the analysis. The company tests for drugs including cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines and marijuana.

Such findings have a bearing on injury and accident rates on the job. The report, however, offers no explanation for the findings but warns that the additional strains on people posed by the COVID-19 pandemic bear watching.

“There is no question that before COVID-19, rates of workplace drug positivity were trending in the wrong direction, based on our Quest Diagnostics data. The enormous strain caused by COVID-19 may prove to be an accelerant on this disturbing trend,” said Dr. Barry Sample, senior director of science and technology, Quest Diagnostics. “Organizations will need to consider the impact of COVID-19 not only on workplace safety but also as a health concern for their employees for some time to come.”

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