Following an analysis of the results of 1.7million UK workplace drug tests over the past five years, the number of workers testing positive for drug use has risen from 2.26% to 3.23% (almost 50%) from 2007 to 2011.  

The report looked at drug tests conducted by 856 UK employers in many industries including logistics, retail, occupational health, commerce, manufacturing and healthcare.  

The 25-34 age group were found to be the most likely to test positive for Class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Given the steep rise in the use of drugs, we may see more employers setting up their own drug screening programmes (when appropriate to do so and subject to employee’s consent) as they are a good way of identifying potential drug related issues in the workplace.  

These types of programmes work best at reducing the level of substance misuse in the workplace when there is a balance of support and education, as well as drug testing.