Thursday, February 3, 2011

More workers using opiates at work than we thought

No drugs A recent study by Quest Diagnostics shows that more workers (including those in safety-sensitive positions) are using heroin or prescribed opiates on the job than was thought previously. Before we panic too much, the incidence rate is still pretty low at .04% of workers who test positive for heroin. However, post-accident tests are four times more likely to show opiate use than is pre-employment testing, which suggests it might be difficult to prevent such accidents by pre-employment testing alone.

The rise is due in part to a better testing method, but may also be due to more employees self-medicating to deal with stress. For more see this Fortune story, which also discusses confidentiality and Employee Assistance Programs.

MM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2011/02/more-workers-using-opiates-at-work-than-we-thought.html

Workplace Safety, Workplace Trends | Permalink

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Comments

I saw a story a few months ago about a woman who went through a nightmare with her newborn when she tested positive for heroin shortly after giving birth.

Turns out, she had eaten a poppy-seed bagel the day before giving birth.

I wonder if this possibility was controlled for in this data.

Posted by: James Young | Feb 3, 2011 5:48:06 PM

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