In medical news:

Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, has released their latest Drug Testing Index analysis. Among the major findings is a general positivity rate that has increased for the first time in more than ten years. Quest attributes the rise to marijuana and amphetamine use in particular. The Index’s conclusions are drawn from 8.5 million urine, oral fluid and hair workplace drug test results for an overall positivity rate of 3.7% for 2013, the rate for 2012 was 3.5%. Quest explained in a press release: “The relative increase of 5.7 percent year-over-year is the first time the positivity rate for combined national workplace urine drug tests has increased since 2003. Quest Diagnostics has analyzed annual workplace drug testing data since 1988.”  Of particular interest to the workers’ comp community, test results are analyzed according to three categories of workers: employees with private companies (U.S. general workforce); employees subject to federal drug testing rules, including safety-sensitive truck drivers, train operators, airline and nuclear power plant workers (federally mandated safety-sensitive workers); and a combination of both groups (combined U.S. workforce). Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug and rates of positivity for it increased 5.6% for the safety sensitive workers and 5% for the general population.

Read the full release from Quest Diagnostics here.

Read analysis from Workers’ Comp Institute 360 here.