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Dramatic Rise in Positive Drug Tests


Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers advocate for accident victims of drug users on the job.Between 2015 and 2017, in five of the sixteen major United States workforce industry sectors, the rate of positive drug tests rose dramatically, according to a recent report. The data, which was drawn from over ten million urine drug tests administered throughout that period, showed that the largest increase – a whopping 21.4 percent – occurred in the transportation and warehousing industries.

This was followed by other services – excluding public administration – at 15.4 percent; finance and insurance, at 13 percent; retail trade at 12.8 percent; and wholesale trade, at 11.8 percent.

The use of illicit drugs can have a profound impact on the workplace and on the drug user’s co-workers. Some of the many ways drug impairment affects the workplace includes:

  • Sleeping on the job
  • Theft
  • Tardiness
  • Discipline problems
  • Increased propensity of trouble with co-workers and supervisors
  • Loss of efficiency
  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Lower morale among co-workers

It has been estimated that drug users are involved in 200 to 300 percent more industrial accidents than non-drug users. Certainly, these accidents have the potential to cause harm to non-using co-workers.

Additionally, users are 400 percent more likely to sustain compensable injuries and to use 1,500 percent more sick leave – which then puts the burden of being overworked on other employees.

Marijuana was the most commonly detected substance, followed by methamphetamine, cocaine, and amphetamines. Any of these drugs has the potential to create factors that make an employee incapable of doing their job safely.

If you have experienced an injury at work, we will stand up for your rights, ensuring that you receive the benefits and financial compensation you are entitled to. Please call the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP at 215-512-1500 or 267-589-0090. You can also contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. Our offices are centrally located in Philadelphia.