Is knowing about possible effects of drug usage part of your job description as a real estate agent? Maybe yes and maybe no but knowing that the chances of your colleagues and/or your clients using drugs have increased definitely deserves your attention.

Methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana use are up, according to Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. Methamphetamine usage has jettisoned in the South and Midwest; cocaine usage has risen in general across the US by +16%; and marijuana usage has risen in the general workforce by +4% and almost +8% in the safety sensitive (pilots, rail/bus/trucking drivers and workers in nuclear power plants) workforce.

Quest Diagnostics has 30 years under its belt in terms of analyzing national workplace drug positivity trends. It began its work in 1988 after the signing of the Drug-Free Workplace Act and developed the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI) as a way to interactively view drug usage by state. (Check out the DTI at to see what’s going on where you live.)

Though methamphetamine and cocaine usage is up nationwide between 9%-25% and 16% respectively, specific states have been harder hit than others by each particular drug. States impacted the most by cocaine usage between 2016 and 2017 are

Nebraska – +91%

Idaho – +88%

Washington – +31%

Nevada – +25%

Maryland – +22%

Wisconsin – +13%

States impacted the most by methamphetamine usage between 2013 and 2017 are

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin – +167%

Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama – +160%

New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania – +150%

Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina,

South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia – +140%

Marijuana usage nationwide continues its 5-year upward trajectory but its usage is most striking in states that have enacted recreational usage statutes since 2016. Those states include

Nevada – +43%

Massachusetts – +14%

California – +11%

On the other hand, prescription opiates continue to decline in workforce testing data. Nationally, between 2016-2017, prescription opiate usage has dropped -17%. Opiates other than codeine are at the lowest positivity rates in over a decade. Two caveats here, synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl are not tested and, according to the Centers for Disease Control, overall national opioid prescribing rates in 2017 fell to the lowest rates in +10 years.

The drop in specific opioid usage includes

Oxycodone – -12%

Hydrocodone -17%

Hydromorphine – -22%




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