More Drug Tests Coming Back Positive in ND | VideoRetha Colclasure | 1/16/2013
More than 70 percent of drug users are employed, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. That means those who screen for drugs are seeing more and more tests coming back positive.
Working in a power plant can be a dangerous job; made even more so if someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That`s why Basin Electric has had a drug testing program in place for years. "Many of our folks are employed at power plants and if they`re operating machinery, we want to make sure that they`re not under the influence. Because if they`re not able to perform their job correctly or appropriately it`s going to affect the safety of their fellow employees and it could have devastating consequences from that," explains Daryl Hill.
They deal with positive tests on a case by case basis, as do most employers who do their drug testing through Sanford Occupational Health. "Drug use is, in fact, active in the workplace," said Jennifer McGregor, director of business operations for Sanford Occupational Health in Bismarck.
Statistics show it`s getting to be more active. The clinic has seen a 61 percent increase in the number of drug tests coming back positive since 2010. "We`re seeing it busier, seeing more positives coming through," McGregor explains.
Methamphetamine and marijuana are the two most common drugs. They`re also seeing screens come back positive for synthetic drugs. "It is in our workplace of today," says McGregor. "Employers are having a greater awareness of it."
She says it`s in all workplaces, not in any specific industry. "I think honestly it`s across the board, we`re seeing it in all types of industries and all different types of positions within the company."
She says more workplaces are also becoming aware of drug use and are more likely to watch out for the signs and symptoms showing someone may be under the influence. In addition to seeing more positive tests, McGregor says the clinics are also doing more drug testing in general as companies turn to them to help set up policies and procedures for drug use.