- Report: NJ workplace drug tests show use of opioids down, amphetamines up


More than 10 million employment-related drug tests in 2017 showed a drop in opioid-positive results, but an increase in positive results for amphetamine use.

Overall, there was a 12 percent drop in the total of positive results among New Jersey workers when compared to 2016, according to the nation’s largest diagnostic services provider.

In a May report from Secaucus-based Quest Diagnostics, the annual overall percentage of positive employment-related drug tests in the state fell to 3.6 from 4.1 percent on the back of decreases in positive tests for opiates, marijuana and PCP.

Quest Diagnostics used more than 10 million urine-based drug tests results from 2017 when compiling its annual survey of workplace positivity rates.

Many of the urine-based tests used in the Quest report were assigned for cause, records show. Some other tests were part of pre-employment, post-accident, random, and screenings for the general workforce and federally-regulated employees.

In New Jersey and nationally, the opiate positivity rate within the employment-related testing dropped by 17 percent compared to 2016.

“The depth of our large-scale analysis supports the possibility that efforts by policymakers, employers and the medical community to decrease the availability of opioid prescriptions and curtail the opioid crisis is working to reduce their use, at least among the working public,” said Kim Samano, scientific director at Quest.

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