Amphetamine and Cocaine Use Up From Third Quarter Last Year

October 2, 2019, 11:28 AM HST · Updated October 7, 7:13 AM
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Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. is reporting no significant changes in the use of amphetamines between the second and third quarter of 2019, (0.79% and 0.80% respectively) up only .01%.  However, toxicology specialists note a 27% increase from levels at the same time last year when third quarter amphetamine use in 2018 was 0.63%.

Dr. Steven Brimmer, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc.’s director of Toxicology also noted that similar test results were recorded for cocaine use.  There was only a small change from 0.40% in the second quarter of 2019 to 0.38% in the third quarter of 2019.  The Q3 2019 number still reflects a 46% year-to-year increase from the positive rate of 0.26% in the third quarter of last year.

Synthetic urine positivity results showed a 15% drop from 1.74% in the second quarter of 2019 to 1.48% in the third quarter 2019; but a 70% year-to-year increase from the third quarter of 2018 at 0.87%.  “The use of synthetic urine to mask drug use in tests continues to be popular despite the fact that our lab keeps catching it,” Dr. Brimmer said.

No significant changes were noted for marijuana use either year-to-year with Q3 2019 positive rate at 2.76% compared to Q3 2018 results at 2.72%, nor quarter-to- quarter (Q2 2019 at 2.77% compared to Q3 2019 at 2.76%).

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The opiate positivity rate dropped to a low of 0.08% this quarter. This represents a 65% decrease in the positivity rate from last quarter (0.23%). It also is a 50% decrease in the positivity rate from Q3 2018 (0.16%). Because this low opiate positivity rate is only for one quarter, there is no trend.

DLS’ quarterly sample size typically includes between 7,000 to 10,000 drug tests.

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