Workplace meth use highest in West

Sep 2 2011 - 3:35pm

Workplace drug testing data show methamphetamine continues to be a significant problem in the Western states.

In data released Friday of U.S. workplace drug-screening tests in 2010, Hawaii ranked first in the highest rates of positive screens for methamphetamine -- 410 percent greater than the national average.

The rates in Arkansas and Oklahoma were also high, 280 percent and 240 percent above the national average, respectively.

Overall, positive methamphetamine screens in the workplace stand at 0.1 percent nationally. The rates have dropped from a high of 0.18 percent in 2006 but remained steady from 2009 to 2010.

The data, based on a collection of 4.5 million urine samples, found that methamphetamine use in the workplace remains significantly lower in Eastern states. The highly addictive drug causes periods of intense focus, alertness and euphoria. Withdrawal symptoms, including depression and fatigue, are severe and often long-lasting.

The report was issued by Quest Diagnostics Inc., which provides diagnostic testing including workplace drug screening. In other data included in the report, positive screens for cocaine among workers have plunged 65 percent since 2006. Positive screens for amphetamines have increased 57 percent in that time frame.

(c)2011 the Los Angeles Times

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