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Early 2017 Trends: Meth Use Slowing

April 5, 2017, 10:47 AM HST
* Updated April 5, 1:31 PM
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Early 2017 Trends: Meth Use Slowing; Synthetic Urine used to mask tests is up. Maui Now graphic.

Tests from the first quarter of 2017 show that crystal meth is trending down and the use of synthetic urine, used to mask drug use in tests is trending up, according to Carl Linden, Scientific Director of Toxicology at Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc.

Last year they were almost even, but now synthetic urine is double the crystal meth level.

“This could be that our shrinking job pool is drawing out more synthetic urine users or more crystal meth users are turning to synthetic urine.”

Diagnostic Laboratory Services releases the results of workforce drug testing on a quarterly basis. The sample size typically includes between 7,000 to 10,000 drug tests.

Amphetamine use was 0.6 percent for the 1Q 2017, down from 0.8 percent in 1Q 2016, while synthetic urine use was at 1.2 percent 1Q 2017, up from 0.9 percent 1Q 2016. Synthetic urine is used to mask drug use in tests. Diagnostic Laboratory Services devised a detection method in 2010, and initially saw synthetic urine use drop.


Cocaine, marijuana and opiate use remained steady year over year: Cocaine use was at 0.2 percent 1Q 2017, down from 0.3 percent 1Q 2016; opiate use was at 0.4 percent 1Q 2017, slightly up from 0.3 percent 1Q 2016; and marijuana was at 2.5 percent 1Q 2017, up slightly from 2.4 percent 1Q 2016.


Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. is a medical testing laboratory that offers a comprehensive range of routine and esoteric testing services and the most sophisticated forensic toxicology and substance abuse testing services in the State of Hawaii. The company employs more than 650 people and has locations throughout Hawaii, Saipan and Guam.

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