Employees Are Cheating on Workplace Drug Tests at Record Rates, and Legalised Cannabis May Be to Blame

Tampered drug tests are happening because more people are using recreational marijuana in states where it is legal. The increase in people using marijuana for fun in states where cannabis is legal seems to be causing more fake drug tests at work.

According to information from Quest Diagnostics mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, workers are currently cheating on drug tests at a higher rate than in the past 30 years.

The number of Americans testing positive for listed substances has stayed the same for the past three years. This might be because more people are using extreme methods to hide their drug use, especially for jobs like operating heavy machinery or driving vehicles.

“According to Suhash Harwani, Quest’s senior director of science for workforce health solutions, some American workers are going to great lengths to try to cheat on drug tests. He mentioned that marijuana is the most common substance people try to hide.”

One method that is becoming more popular is using different urine samples instead. This can include using someone else’s urine, synthetic urine that can be bought online, or even animal urine. According to Quest data, the company recorded the highest rate ever of substituted samples last year, with a sixfold increase compared to previous years.

Another common example that can invalidate results and cause a subject to fail a drug screening is when they don’t switch urine samples, but instead add substances to their urine.

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Amphetamines Rank 2nd After Marijuana

Quest reported that out of over 8.4 million urine samples tested last year, 4.6% were found to be positive. States like New York and Colorado, where recreational marijuana use is legal, have seen a big change. In 2015, only 2.4% of drug tests were positive for marijuana, but last year that number went up to 5.8%. On the other hand, the states that didn’t follow saw a smaller increase. The positivity rate only went up to 3.3% from 2.6% in 2015.

Employers are now thinking about changing their drug test policies to match the different laws in different places.

Amphetamines are the second most commonly found substance after marijuana in drug screening. The rate of positive tests for amphetamines increased slightly from 1.3% in 2019 to 1.5% last year.

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