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Workplace drug test cheating increases dramatically

drug test

The percentage of employees in the general U.S. workforce whose drug tests showed signs of tampering increased by more than six-fold in 2023 compared with the prior year and was the highest in more than 30 years of annual reporting, workplace drug testing company Quest Diagnostics reported Wednesday.

In analyzing 9.8 million workforce drug tests, company researchers found evidence of tampering  “in an attempt to conceal drug use” that included a 633% increase in substituted urine and a 45.2% increase in invalid urine specimens.

According to Quest, the increasing rates of substituted or invalid specimens coincided with “historically high” rates of both general U.S. workforce drug positivity and post-accident marijuana positivity.

Drug positivity in the general U.S. workforce was 5.7% in both 2022 and 2023. This marked the highest level in more than two decades, up more than 30% from the low of 3.5% in 2010-2012.

Quest also reported a 114.3% increase in post-accident positivity between 2015 and 2023 in the general U.S. workforce.