Drug Testing At Work Is A Thing Of The Past, Study Finds

According to a study conducted by Quest Diagnostics Inc DGX, drug use among American employees, as measured by the percentage of employees who tested positive in urine drug tests, hit a 14-year high in 2018, reaching 4.4 percent.

Cannabis continues to be the most popular substance, with 2.8 percent of all employees tested showing positive results.

The news led addiction experts at the American Addiction Centers to wonder about the impact this might have on pre-employment drug testing in professionals. Seeking for an answer, they conducted an analysis of job postings on the popular website Glassdoor. They were trying to find out what types of jobs are most likely to include requirements for drug tests, and regular drug screening.

Overall, remarkably few jobs disclose that they require drug testing before confirming employment, or during employment. On average, only 1.47 percent of job postings in the U.S. mention that they require pre-employment drug tests.

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Even fewer jobs disclose that they require regular drug screenings during employment. On average, only 0.66 percent of job postings mention regular drug testing.

A few of the most likely industries to require pre-employment drug tests were:

  • Government
  • Health Care & Hospitals
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Private Security
  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Construction
  • Information Technology
  • Education & Schools

A few of the most likely industries to require regular drug screenings were:

  • Health Care & Hospitals
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Government
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Biotech & Pharmaceuticals
  • Real Estate
  • Non-Profit

“Overall, we were surprised that more employers were not up front with the sobriety expectations for their employees, particularly in some of the more manual fields such as manufacturing or construction. Additionally, incredibly few office jobs discuss drug testing in their job postings,” American Addiction Centers experts said during an exclusive conversation.

Now, while drug testing numbers are surprisingly low on average, there’s considerable variation between states.


Jobs That Require Pre Employment Drug Tests – American Addiction Centers

Still, only one city in the country boasts a number above 2.4 percent: in Arlington, TX, almost 7 percent of jobs require pre-employment drug screenings. On the other end of the spectrum was New York City, with just 0.46 percent of all jobs requiring screenings.

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One very surprising discovery made from the data was that Omaha, NE had absolutely no jobs that required regular drug screening according to their job postings. However, according to a study from earlier this year, residents of the city have the highest substance abuse rate in the country. It seems contradictory that a city experiencing a pronounced issue with substance abuse would have absolutely no job postings addressing the issue.

Cities With The Most Jobs Requiring Drug Tests – American Addiction Centers

But, beyond city-specific data, one thing is clear: drug testing before or during employment is a thing of the past.

This article was originally published on Forbes, and republished here with permission.

Lead image by Javier Hasse.

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Original publication: Aug 5, 2019

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