More Hawaii Employees Testing Positive for Drugs - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More Hawaii Employees Testing Positive for Drugs

Larry Vogel Larry Vogel
Carl Linden Carl Linden

HONOLULU (KHNL) It's an alarming statistic, more Hawaii employees are using drugs these days. 

More than 200 employees work at food distributor Y. Hata. Just about half of them work with heavy equipment or drive delivery trucks.

"We have very skilled drivers. but if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, God forbid something terrible could happen and we just don't want that." said Y. Hata's CEO Larry Vogel

Vogel saaid before an employee is hired, he or she must take a drug test. 

"No one can work for Y. Hata unless they've been drug tested before we actually hired them."

Y. Hata prides itself as a drug free, alcohol free facility. If someone tests positive for either drugs or alcohol they're immediately terminated. 

"Recently this past year, we dismissed two people, which is about one percent of the workforce were found to be on drugs or alcohol."

In fact, one out of every 50 employees tested positive for crystal methamphetamine in the past three months.

"What's most disturbing is the level of crystal meth here is at about two-percent, which is three to four times above the national average, cocaine is still significantly below one percent than opiates." said Carl Linden, scientific director for Diagnostic Laboratory Services, which conducted the survey.

Linden says the increase should be a warning to employers who do not test their employees for drugs.

"Employers should, if they're not doing drug testing, they probably would want to consider it."

The drugs employers test for include marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, PCP and alcohol. Diagnostic Laboratory Services conducts between 200 and 700 drug tests a day.

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