The use of synthetic urine in workplace drug testing in Hawaii dropped 47 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year and the overall number of positive drug tests declined slightly, Diagnostic Laboratory Services said Monday.
The use of synthetic urine, which is used to “beat” drug tests, dropped 38 percent when compared to the previous quarter, Carl Linden, scientific director of toxicology at Diagnostic Laboratory Services, said in a statement.
“We were expecting this as word got out that we can now detect synthetic urine,” Linden said in a statement. “Social marketing probably accounts for the speed of the decline,” Linden noted.
The use of marijuana, cocaine and opiates were down slightly — marijuana use was 3 percent, down from 3.1 percent; cocaine use was 0.2 percent, down from 0.3 percent; and, opiate use was 0.2 percent, down from 0.3 percent.
While prescription painkillers are not included in federal- or state-mandated workforce drug testing, Diagnostic Laboratory Services has seen a “definite” increase in painkiller use in other clinical testing.
“Given the dramatic rise in the use of drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, changes are being sought at both the state and federal level,” Linden said.