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Drug Use in the Workplace Report 2012 - Stats and Trends

Drug Use in the Workplace Report 2012 - Stats and Trends

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Published by Mo Elnadi
Concateno, Europe's biggest drug and alcohol testing company, has analysed the results of over 1.6 million UK workplace drug tests over the last five years . The report has found that nearly one million employees across the UK has drugs in their system at any point in time, with the most prevalent drugs including cannabis, opiates and cocaine.
Concateno, Europe's biggest drug and alcohol testing company, has analysed the results of over 1.6 million UK workplace drug tests over the last five years . The report has found that nearly one million employees across the UK has drugs in their system at any point in time, with the most prevalent drugs including cannabis, opiates and cocaine.

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Published by: Mo Elnadi on Dec 04, 2012
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02/09/2013

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© Concateno 2012.Concateno, 92 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RY, UKTel: +44 (0)1235 861 483 | www.concateno.comvbc1230
High Society:
Drug prevalence in the UK workplace
  A research report by Concateno, First Edition
July 2012
 
© Concateno 2012.Concateno, 92 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RY, UKTel: +44 (0)1235 861 483 | www.concateno.comvbc1230
Executive Summary
With drug use in the UK amongst the highest in Europe
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, the use of drugs in the workplace is a significanthealth, safety and financial risk for UK businesses. For the first time in the UK, there is significant data tomeasure that risk. Concateno, a leading European drug and alcohol testing provider, has analysed theresults of over 1.6 million UK workplace drug tests over the past five years and has found that:
  At least 1 in 30 UK employees has drugs in their system at any point in time (which equates to nearly onemillion people across the UK workforce)
 There has been a 43 per cent increase in UK employees testing positive for drug use from 2007 to 2011
 The most prevalent drugs used by UK employees are cannabis, opiates and cocaine
 25-34 year olds are the most likely age group to test positive for Class A drugs
 –
not under 25 year olds,as many assumeThis report aims to provide UK employers, government and industry bodies with an enhanced understandingof drug use in the workplace.
Foreword
Concateno conducts and supplies over 10 million tests annually into a range of industries and sectors.This research report analyses the results of 1,668,330
drug tests conducted by Concateno’s laboratories on
behalf of 856 UK employers over a five year period (2007 to 2011) to measure the incidence of drug useamongst employees.The tests analysed in this report have been conducted on those either in employment or as part of pre-employment procedures. Companies that have a drug testing programme in place tend to be mature, safetyand performance-conscious businesses. Therefore, the wider picture of drug use across the UK population islikely to be higher.The 2010/11 British Crime Survey identified three million (8.8%) British adults admitting to using an illicit drugin the past year, including those who are unemployed.
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Methodology
Workplace drug testing programmes are implemented by organisations of all sizes across a range of industrysectors throughout the UK. The most common sectors include public transport, freight haulage, emergencyservices, utilities, retail, manufacturing and construction.The tests analysed in this report have been conducted as part of random or pre-employment programmes,rather than following an incident at work or where there was a suspicion of drug use. All were conducted inorganisations that had an estabished drug testing policy in place. This means that employees know theycould be tested as part of their employment.Test results are from both urine and oral fluid analysis, however, most workplace drug testing is conductedusing urine samples. In both sample types, where an employee tests positive for a drug, they will have mostlikely consumed the drug in recent days.
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© Concateno 2012.Concateno, 92 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RY, UKTel: +44 (0)1235 861 483 | www.concateno.comvbc1230
 At the time of sample collection, the donor is asked to provide information relating to their use of bothprescribed and over-the-counter medications over the past 30 days. This information is used to assist andsupport the interpretation of the drug test result given either by the toxicologist or Medical Review Officer (MRO), since positive results may be due to the use of prescription-based or over-the-counter medication.The data in this report only includes positive results for substances found that were not accounted for bymedication declared at the time of sample collection or to the MRO during the review process. In
Concateno’s
experience, positive results for opiates are likely to occur from non-declared use of over-the-counter medication. Similarly, positive results for benzodiazepines and methadone are typically due toprescription drug use. However, in both cases positive results may also occur from illicit use due to thediversion of a prescription.The term opiates throughout this report is used to define the presence of prescription or over-the-counter opiates (such as morphine, codeine or dihydrocodeine). Opiates in dietary sources have been accounted for in reviewing these results and positives from these sources have not been included. Heroin use has beendistinguished from opiate use by the detection of the heroin-specific metabolite 6-monoacetylmorphine and isreported separately to the use of opiates.
Prevalence of Drugs in the Workplace
During 2011, the data from this report demonstrated a 3.23% positivity rate for drugs in the workplace. Thisindicates that approximately 1 in 30 individuals has drugs in their system at any point in time.There are 29.23 million people in employment in the UK
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. If the positivity rate from this report isextrapolated, 940,000 people would have drugs in their system at work right now.The 2011 positivity rate represents a 43% increase on figures from 2007, rising from 2.26% to 3.23% over that period. The graph below illustrates drug prevalence in the workplace samples tested by Concateno over this five year period, comprising over 1.6 million tests in total.
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Office for National Statistics, Employment figures, May 2012
0.00%0.50%1.00%1.50%2.00%2.50%3.00%3.50%20072008200920102011
UK Workplace Drug Prevalence Over Time
% Positive

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