Diagnostic testing company Quest Diagnostics recently released its latest Drug Testing Index, which revealed that Hydrocodone and oxycodones remain the most common prescription opiates found in employees' systems by drug screenings.
According to the company's website, the Drug Testing Index examines positivity rates to provide an analysis of workplace drug use trends. One trend that stood out was the striking difference in the levels of drugs found in workers' systems by random tests compared to pre-employment screenings. The report noted that pre-employment screenings from January through June 2011 revealed a 0.85 percent positivity rate for Hydrocodone, and a 0.65 percent rate for oxycodones. Yet, those amounts nearly doubled for both drugs - 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively - when workers were randomly tested. Furthermore, post-accident testing saw even higher rates of 3.7 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. "The use and misuse of prescription opiates continue to capture national attention," said Dr. Barry Sample, Quest Diagnostics director of science and technology. "The findings of this study reinforce the need for businesses to develop and communicate clear policies around both the medical and non-medical use of these drugs, especially for their safety-sensitive workers."