Marijuana and amphetamine use is being blamed for the first rise in positive drug tests among American workers in a decade, according to Quest Diagnostics.

Marijuana and amphetamine use is being blamed for the first rise in positive drug tests among American workers in a decade, according to Quest Diagnostics. More than 8.5 million drug test results were analyzed; about 3.7 percent were positive in 2013, up from 3.5 percent in 2012. It’s the first increase seen since 2003.

Not surprisingly, marijuana was the cause for a 20 percent increase in positive tests in Colorado workplaces, likely due to the fact that the analysis took place during the first year that the drug was legal for recreational use, says The Coloradoan.

Unfortunately, the increase in use of drugs among employees increases the risk of harm to everyone: the employee, their coworkers, and clients and customers.


Even if a substance abuser is not actively under the influence during the workday, his safety and the safety of those around him may be compromised due to drug and alcohol abuse. Dulled senses, feeling ill due to hangover or recovering from a drug binge, and the cumulative effects of chronic drug use and abuse – all these can contribute to slower reflexes, poor decision-making, and an inability to properly operate machinery including a car. In certain industries, anyone struggling with these issues can make the workplace a hazard to everyone on the premises.

Quality Assurance

Someone who struggles with drug and alcohol abuse can undermine the integrity of everyone in the company. One person who continually misses meetings, mishandles clients, or is clearly under the influence makes the business and everyone who works for that business look bad. It can cost a company a huge percentage of their annual profits and potentially risk the entire business should a lawsuit develop as a result of actions the drug-abusing person made in the company’s name.


For the person living with chronic drug abuse – especially at a level that routinely interferes with his ability to function well at work – the biggest risk is the development of an addiction. Addictive behaviors not only soon mean the loss of employment but the start of chronic and acute health problems including the ever-present risk of overdose and death. Addiction infects every aspect of the person’s life and can ultimately end it.

Time to Get Help

When drug use impacts a person’s employability, it can be a sign that it’s time for treatment. Contact us today at The Recovery Village to find out how we can help you connect the person in your life who is struggling with drug use and abuse with treatment before they spiral out of control. Call now.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.