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Hawaii leads nation for meth use in workforce, study says

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 5:57 a.m. HST, Sep 2, 2011


A new study shows Hawaii leads the nation for methamphetamine use in the workforce.

Quest Diagnostics, a major drug testing company, is expected to release on Friday its first state-by-state study of more than 4.5 million urine samples collected from workplace drug tests in 2010. 

According to Quest, Hawaii's positive prevalence rate for the drug was 410 percent greater than the national average.

The five-year data shows an eastward spread of the drug that has been consistently more prevalent in the western half of the country.

University of Hawaii psychiatry professor Dr. William Haning says the Aloha State's high meth rate can be attributed to the islands' service economy, with so-called "functional" users taking the drug in an effort to work longer, harder and multiple jobs.

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