The Midwest Drug Testing Positivity Rate is Higher than it has been in over a Decade

Posted: Oct, 18th 2020


The Midwest experienced a dramatic increase in positivity rates for marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines based on Quest Diagnostics annual index of information from 2019.  The index showed that positive drug testing rates in the U.S. workforce have climbed to the highest rate in 16 years. The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index is a series of reports that provide insights into trends in workforce drug use. The index examines test results according to three categories of workers: federally mandated, safety sensitive workers, the genera; workforce, and the combined U.S. workforce.

Drug Testing is federally mandated for safety-sensitive workers including bus and truck drivers, pilots, and workers in nuclear power plants. According to analysis data based on nine million workplace drug tests results showed cocaine and methamphetamine positivity surges throughout the Midwest regions. Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug in the U.S. workforce. The Midwest saw a 14 percent increase rate in positive tests, outpacing the national increases. Methamphetamine positivity rate in the Midwest increased by nearly 78% over the last five years. Cocaine positivity increased by 40% in the Midwest.

 The alarming trends in positivity rates for the Midwest imply the need for continued diligence in the hiring process.  Some tips for employers to make safe hiring decisions include: running background checks, employment screenings, and complete investigation and verification forms. Employers that have drivers who hold CDL licenses can thoroughly and efficiently audit the driver qualification files. A driver qualification management system could also be utilized to make safe hiring decisions.