Drug screening and testing has always been a controversial issue in the workforce. We’ll take the time to examine some of the latest trends to better understand how they’ll impact day-to-day operations moving forward.

The Overall Number of Positive Tests is Rising

A recent report published by Quest Diagnostics at the end of 2018 indicates the number of positive drug tests is actually increasing when compared to recent years. While they’ve dropped significantly since the early 90s, employers have seen a steady increase since 2013.

The recent spike is primarily attributed to an overall increase in reported drug use throughout the nature. According to a 2015 survey, approximately 10 percent of Americans admitted to using an illicit drug in the past 30 days. While marijuana remains the most widely used drug, followed by prescription pain killers, many companies are beginning to move away from traditional THC or marijuana tests. This is the result of recent decriminalization measures as well as growing acceptance of marijuana in general.

Confusion Over Marijuana, THC and CBDs

Common marijuana tests work by detecting the amount of THC in a user’s system. As THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, it readily appears on today’s THC tests. However, it’s important to note that THC can remain in a user’s system for 30 days or even longer after ingestion. It’s not a clear indicator of when the drug was used – only that it’s been used within the past 30 days.

The issue is growing even more complex with acceptance of medical marijuana and CBD products. CBD, or cannabidol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in today’s marijuana strains. As it’s often separated from the plant, it’s not detectable through a common THC test. A specific CBD test would need to be administered to detect usage of CBD oils and extracts.

Recommendations for Best Practices

Many of the other recent trends in drug testing revolve around the best practices for handling and preventing drug use within the workforce, including:

  • Establishing drug-free workplace programs (DFWPs)
  • Utilizing pre-employment screening as the sole means of drug testing
  • Getting rid of randomized testing altogether (except in the case of workplace injuries)

Looking for more information from Automation Personnel Services, Inc.?

If you need help keeping up with the latest trends in drug testing and screening, or if you want to work with a temporary staffing agency that takes care of pre-employment screening for you, contact Automation Personnel Services, Inc. today!


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