Funny Business with Jane Wells

Signs Of A "Dope-pression"

Wuest Diagnostics

Talk about a silver lining! Quest Diagnosticsreports that US workers are not using as much cocaine.

Or meth.

Quest looked at 5.7 million urine drug tests it performed on employees or job applicants last year. Positive tests for cocaine dropped 29 percent from the year before, to only .41 percent of all tests. Methamphetamine use dropped 21 percent, to .11 percent of the total.

Quest says drug use by America's work force has been steadily decreasing for 20 years, from 13.6 percent of all those tested in 1988 to 3.6 percent last year. It credits random drug testing as the biggest deterrent (which just happens to be the business it's pushing).

But I noticed that positive drug tests held steady between 2006 and 2007, before dropping in the recession took hold.

And Quest reports it is seeing an increase in some drug usage-cheaper drugs.

Positive tests for amphetamines are up 12 percent, to .45 percent of all tests. "This coincides with survey and emergency room data," says Robert Willette, President of Duo Research. "(It) could be tied to the significant increase in drugs prescribed for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Similar trends are seen with the increased use and abuse of pain medications."

So cocaine is out, Ritalin is in.

You can read all the details here.

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