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The United States may be seeing the beginning of the end of the scourge of crystal meth, at least among the workforce, according to a firm that performs millions of workplace drug tests every year.
Barry Sample, director of science and technology for Quest Diagnostics, which performs 10.4 million drug tests on employees every year in all 50 states, sees a downward trend in positive amphetamine and methamphetamine test results in the general U.S. workforce in 2005-2006.
Positive methamphetamine test results have now fallen to 2002 levels, indicating that the fashion for the drug may be waning among employees.
There was an 8% decline in samples that were positive for any amphetamine, including speed and ecstasy, in 2005, and a further 10% drop in the first six months of 2006. In 2005, one in 208 drug tests for amphetamines was positive, compared with one in 192 in 2004.
The proportion of positive amphetamine tests that were due to crystal meth showed a steeper decrease. There was a 31% decrease in the first five months of 2006 and a 45% decrease since 2004.
The proportion of tests for amphetamines that gave a positive result for crystal meth declined from one test in 303 in 2004 to one in 384 in 2005 and to one in 556 in the first six months of 2006.
Quest Diagnostics also released 2005 data for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and PCP. These showed that positive drug tests in the workplace fell to the lowest level since Quest began publishing the data in 1988.
For the combined U.S. workforce, 4.1% had positive results in 2005, compared with 4.5% in 2004 and 13.6% in 1988. (Gus Cairns, UK.Gay.com)