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Meth use among L.A. workforce twice the national average

June 19, 2009 | 12:00 pm


Drug use by employees continues to be a major problem for employers. But new statistics show the picture is changing in Los Angeles.

Data from Quest Diagnostics show that cocaine use has decreased in recent years while amphetamine use is up. In particular, the rate of positive workplace drug tests for methamphetamine in Los Angeles is more than twice the national average: 23 positive tests per 10,000 people versus 11 per 10,000 nationwide.

Positive tests for cocaine were found in 27 per 10,000 workers in Los Angeles compared with 39 per 10,000 workers nationwide. Overall, screening shows a decline in positive drug tests in Los Angeles from 320 per 10,000 workers in 2006 to 269 per 10,000 last year. Nationwide, 380 per 10,000 workers tested positive for drug in 2006 compared with 360 per 10,000 last year.

The data are from the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index, based on 5.7 million urine drug tests performed by the company.

-- Shari Roan

Photo: A pipe used to smoke crystal meth. Credit: Ann Heisenfelt / AP