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Cocaine use up among Hawaii workers and job applicants


Hawaii workers testing positive for cocaine use has steadily increased from a year ago, although in small numbers, according to data released on Thursday by Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. 

“Cocaine use has been slowly creeping up every quarter since the third quarter of last year, confirming what we are hearing anecdotally,” Carl Linden, DLS’ scientific director of toxicology, said in a press release. “The actual number of positive tests for coke is still relatively small, but it is a definite trend.”

The number of workers testing positive for cocaine grew to 0.4 percent in the second quarter from 0.2 percent in the year-earlier period. 

Amphetamine use also rose to 0.9 percent in the quarter from 0.6 percent a year earlier, while marijuana dropped to 2.2 percent from 3 percent and synthetic urine to 0.4 percent from 0.8 percent. Opiate use remained unchanged at 0.2 percent.

DLS’ quarterly sample size typically includes between 7,000 and 10,000 drug tests for Hawaii workers and job applicants.

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