The global drug screening laboratory services market size was valued at USD 4.39 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 9.68 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.17% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Drug screening is a quick and painless technical analysis that detects the presence of illicit, prescription drugs or their metabolites in biological samples like blood, hair, and urine. Due to the development of new technologies that provide users with precise and accurate results, drug screening devices have improved. Employers use drug testing to maintain a drug-free, healthy, and sober workforce that supports high productivity and a suitable work environment. The main drivers of market growth for drug screening laboratory services include an increase in alcohol consumption among young people and the elderly, a rise in workplace drug use, and excessive prescription drug use.
Drug testing is now routinely done in the workplace, in schools, the military, in retail, and on the streets. Drug abuse detection technology has benefited people and society by giving regulation power and a drug-free, healthy environment. Due to the widespread knowledge of the negative effects of drug and alcohol use, many workplaces and schools now require drug testing. Universities, schools, and social service organizations hold awareness campaigns and training sessions on the harmful effects of drugs. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are offered by businesses and workplaces to assist employees in resolving personal and professional issues that may impair their ability to perform at work. Government programs for drug testing device development and research, as well as programs to combat illegal drug trafficking, all contribute to the market's expansion.
A serious issue that has an impact on users, as well as society at large, is the misuse of prescription painkillers, illegal drugs, and overdoses of these substances. Governmental resources that are available to combat drug abuse are still underutilized. Additionally, global drug production has greatly increased, and illegal drug trafficking is on the rise. Due to a rise in drug abuse nationwide, the U.S. Federal government has increased funding for drug testing. Mexico and the United States are two North American nations collaborating to stop drug trafficking. Additionally, as a result of an increase in drug trafficking, Canada has stepped up its enforcement of laws against the illegal drug trade in an effort to combat the opioid crisis in the province of Alberta. Therefore, it is anticipated that increased funding for drug screening will spur the growth of drug-screening products in the future.
Drug testing at work is a hot topic that needs to be examined from the perspectives of both employers and employees. Drug testing puts employees' fundamental rights, particularly the right to privacy and physical integrity, in danger. Contrarily, failing to conduct drug tests conflicts with employers' duties to ensure the safety and well-being of their workers. Drug testing is a violation of an individual's right to privacy, which has been established in developed nations. For instance, drug testing was initially viewed as a violation of the fourth amendment in the United States but was later overturned because the privacy interests at stake were insignificant. To maintain a positive working environment, the law makes an effort to balance the interests of employers and employees.
Fuel cell technology is one of the new technologies that has been introduced to the drug screening market that can deliver precise results. It has gained popularity among businesses and regulatory bodies due to its effectiveness in determining alcohol concentration, which spurs market expansion. Additionally, the market has grown as a result of technological developments in products used for drug testing and an increase in employer awareness of the value of employee drug testing. These tests have the advantage of being simple to use and providing prompt, accurate results. Rapid testing tools can analyze a small sample of urine and identify the presence of several drugs at once. If made available in the market at a competitive price, such technologies can expand the drug screening market.
The global drug screening laboratory services market is segmented by service type, sample type, and end users.
Based on service type, the global market is bifurcated into workplace drug testing and clinical toxicology testing.
The workplace drug testing segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.23% during the forecast period. Employers across a range of industries are becoming increasingly concerned about workplace drug abuse. Alcohol and illegal drug use are on the rise, particularly in the United States. Additionally, drug-abusing employees create significant distractions at work due to their low output, subpar performance, risk of workplace accidents, and detrimental effects on other workers. Employers frequently use drug testing to find out whether potential hires or employees have a drug addiction. Additionally, a number of studies have found that drug abuse can cost employers in the United States more than $140 billion annually due to turnover rates for employees who use drugs.
The clinical toxicology testing segment is expected to witness a higher CAGR of 9.6%. Clinical toxicology is employed to detect drug abuse, track a problem with substance abuse, or assess drug overdose or intoxication. Toxicology screening is a fairly simple process. The procedure is typically carried out using a drop of blood or urine. A saliva or hair sample may be appropriate in some circumstances. The tests can instantly reveal the presence of one or more drugs. To ascertain the precise concentration of a specific drug in the body and to validate findings, additional testing might be required. Toxicology tests can pick up on several popular drug classes, including Adderall, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and marijuana. Additionally, a rise in the use of illegal drugs and alcohol fuels the demand for clinical toxicology testing services, expanding the market.
Based on the sample type, the global market is bifurcated into the urine, oral fluid, hair, and others.
The urine segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.45% during the forecast period. Depending on what is being introduced into the body, urine contains 90% to 95% water, inorganic salts, proteins, hormones, and a wide variety of metabolites. The majority of illegal drugs are excreted from the body, so urine can be a reliable test sample with accurate test results. The majority of drugs, including opioids, marijuana, and cocaine, can be detected in urine.
The oral fluid segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 12.05%. Oral fluid offers a quick and painless specimen for drug testing. Saliva is a watery substance created in the mouth by salivary glands that aid in food absorption. 99.5% of the material in the saliva is water, along with electrolytes, mucus, white blood cells, and epithelial cells. The oral fluid test is used to detect drugs that are consumed orally and leave residue in the mouth.
Based on end users, the global market is bifurcated into oil & gas, transportation, staffing, government, hospital laboratories, clinical laboratories, and retail.
The retail segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.07% during the forecast period. Employees in the retail industry who abuse drugs and alcohol put their coworkers, customers, and the company's bottom line at risk, in addition to their own health. Drug-testing retail employees have the unmistakable benefit of ensuring the highest levels of productivity, well-being, and financial success for the business. Additionally, many retailers still conduct urine drug tests. This is explained by the fact that these urine test cups can test for a variety of substances, are commercially viable, and are difficult to tamper with. Some businesses choose to use 12-panel urine drug tests as part of multi-panel drug tests, which look for a variety of drugs. Businesses in high-risk areas frequently employ this practice to weed out customers who abuse less popular drugs. As a result, drug abuse in the retail industry is closely monitored. As a result, this industry generates the most money on the market.
The hospital laboratories segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 10.15%. Hospital laboratories are crucial to clinical toxicology testing and are primarily concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, avoidance, and management of human poisoning. Hospital laboratories perform illegal drug testing primarily to diagnose patient diseases and find out if the patient has alcohol or other drugs of abuse in their system. The significant rise in alcohol consumption among people around the world is expected to cause this segment to expand quickly during the forecast period.
The global drug screening laboratory services market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America region is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.1% during the forecast period. This is attributed to the significant increase in drug abuse in this region. In addition, North America is an established market for drug screening services. The U.S. Federal Government has increased funding for drug screening testing owing to a spike in drug abuse across the country. Due to rising employee drug and alcohol use, which forces companies to conduct regular drug tests, which serves as a major market driver for market growth, the North American drug screening laboratory services market is constantly expanding. The most widely used drugs in 2021, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), were marijuana, prescription stimulants, and methamphetamines, with nearly 32 million people (11.7% of the population) engaging in drug abuse. To further raise employee awareness of drug side effects, some businesses in nations like the U.S. and Canada host drug abuse info sessions. Governments have launched a number of initiatives to raise public awareness.
Europe is expected to witness dynamic growth in the drug screening laboratory services market, with a CAGR of 10.8% during the forecast period. Around 30 million Europeans (15-64 years old) will report using the drug in 2021, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Due to its size and economic strength, Germany has joined the anti-drug campaign started by the U.K. Other European nations have also raised money and created strict laws to outlaw drug use in their nations. The goal of Spain's pain medication prevention program, which is based on the Spanish National Drug Strategy, is to reduce the negative effects of drug abuse. The National Drug Plan, a division of the Public Health Ministry, oversees the program.
Asia-Pacific is expected to witness a significant CAGR of 10.15% in the drug screening laboratory services market during the forecast period. The increase in the use of alcohol and other illegal drugs in the area, as well as the rising demand for drug testing services, are both responsible for the market growth in this area. Additionally, Asia-Pacific is one of the most densely populated regions and, over the years, has seen rapid urbanization and economic change. As a result, many Asia-Pacific nations, including China and India, have seen an increase in the use of alcohol and illegal drugs. Illegal drug use has been a threat to the Asia-Pacific region for a very long time. Due to its large population, growing awareness of drug abuse testing, and rise in the use of illicit drugs, it offers profitable opportunities for market participants engaged in drug abuse testing. Government agencies in several Asian nations, including India, China, and Japan, have implemented strict regulations to address the rise in the trend of drug abuse.
The LAMEA region is expected to witness a moderate CAGR of 6.9% in the global drug screening laboratory services market during the forecast period. The economies of the countries in this region collectively range from developed to developing to underdeveloped. Since some of the most recent technologies are not available in these nations, this presents an untapped market for drug abuse testing companies. LAMEA is a developing market that is anticipated to offer lucrative growth opportunities for key players because of the expansion of the target population, the surge in demand for products used for drug screening, and the development of the healthcare system. The political and economic climates of Latin American nations have undoubtedly improved in recent years. Although this has altered the economies of the affected nations, it has generally not had the same impact on social and human development.
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