The use of meth in the workplace remains a huge problem in Hawaii. More commonly known as “ice,” meth use climbed slightly in the workplace to 0.7 percent in the third quarter from the previous quarter’s 0.4 percent, which is actually the lowest level since 2004, according to Honolulu-based drug testing firm Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc.
While this is the lowest level that it has been in some time, the overall use of meth in the workplace in Hawaii is still wildly out of control, as too many people use the drug during their workday.
The statistics are an improvement from the 1.1 percent workplace usage in the first quarter of 2011 and just above the year-earlier quarter’s 0.6 percent meth use among the 7,000 to 10,000 workers and job candidates DLS tests.
“That root percentage is fairly ingrained – no matter what we do, it doesn’t seem to change that much,” said Carl Linden, DLS scientific director of toxicology. “There always seems to be a certain percentage that’s going to use no matter what. They’ve got addictive behavior or social problems, and they’re going to alleviate that in one fashion or another depending on what they can afford and what’s available.”
Hawaii’s meth use was 410 percent higher than the national average in a 2010 study of more than 4.5 million samples released last month by Quest Diagnostics, a major mainland drug tester. The study said meth use among the workforce nationwide was 0.1 percent.
Meth use in general has always been a huge problem in Hawaii, but meth use in the workplace is getting way out of hand. So much so, that no other state even comes close to the numbers that Hawaii puts out when it comes to meth use in the workplace.
More drug testing can be done, but most people readily admit that this probably won’t help the problem, as met – or ice, seems to be an ongoing problem in the Hawaii workplace.