2024 Drug Testing & Safety Update | Workplace Strategies

2024 Drug Testing Safety Update Workplace Strategies

Illicit drug use and its direct impact on workplace safety continues to be a growing issue. With a staggering surge in overdose deaths, reaching 98,000 in 2021—an alarming 58% increase from just two years ago—the current drug landscape demands urgent attention. Drug testing methodologies, such as urine analysis, hair testing, and oral fluid testing, play pivotal roles within comprehensive testing programs. Additionally, it stresses the critical importance of understanding state laws and regulations across different regions.

In a recent session at Day with DISA 2024, Brady Quarles, Vice President of Industrial and Consortium Sales for DISA Global Solutions, provided a comprehensive update on drug testing trends, the significance of maintaining robust drug and alcohol programs, and the increasing challenges due to rising illicit drug use. His presentation underscored the necessity for organizations to adapt their drug and alcohol testing policies to stay ahead of emerging trends and maintain a safe workplace.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend the Day with DISA conference, or if you would like to review this presentation again, you can download or watch it using the link below.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Overdose Deaths Skyrocketing: Overdose deaths have reached a staggering 98,000 in 2021, marking a 58% increase from two years prior. This trend underscores the growing peril of illicit drug use, necessitating more vigilant drug and alcohol testing policies in workplaces.
  • Rise of Fentanyl: Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is now the leading cause of overdose deaths among workforce-age adults in the U.S. Default 5- or 10-panel drug tests don’t look for fentanyl. However, it's found in 69% of opioid-related deaths, highlighting the critical need for inclusion in testing panels.
  • Evolving Drug Testing Trends: Non-DOT positivity rates for drug testing are on the rise, with an overall increase of 12% last year. This indicates a growing challenge in maintaining drug-free workplaces and the importance of comprehensive testing strategies.
  • Impact of Marijuana Legalization: With the legalization of marijuana in numerous states, there's a notable increase in marijuana positivity rates. This trend presents complex challenges for drug testing policies and employer rights in non-federally regulated positions.
  • Cost to Employers: Illicit drug and alcohol use cost U.S. companies about $100 billion annually, with substance abusers being significantly less productive and more prone to accidents, absenteeism, and theft.
  • Comprehensive Testing Policies: A robust drug and alcohol program that evolves with changing drug use trends and state laws is essential. Employers should consider utilizing a mix of testing methodologies for a comprehensive approach.

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About Day with DISA

Day with DISA 2024 has concluded, but it left an indelible mark with over 4,000 attendees gaining invaluable insights from industry leaders on employee screening trends. Reflecting on the success of this year's "Keynotes and Networking" event and the enriching virtual presentations, it's clear that Day with DISA remains the premier conference for HR and safety professionals. Looking forward to next year, we continue to champion access to industry insights, best practices, and networking opportunities, ensuring that attendees leave equipped to enhance compliance, safety, and hiring practices in their organizations.

About DISA

Founded in 1986, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout North America and Europe, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes background checks, drug and alcohol testing, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.