ile the production of shale oil has grown rapidly in the US, leading to more high paying jobs in energy industry hubs like West Texas. Another darker kind of boom has emerged, drug use among oil field workers. According to a Reuters analysis in 2016, workers in oil rich Midland, Texas, tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana at nearly double the average rate of all US workers in safety sensitive jobs.
The use of opioids was even worse, at more than three times the average. Reuters' correspondent, Liz Hampton>> These workers who come in, a lot of times it's young men, sometimes they don't have a family. And it's a really good salary you can earn working in the oil field.
When they get there, they work really long hours, and there's not a ton to do in these places. And so combined with the money that they're making, the work they're doing, it becomes a very work hard, play hard sort of mentality. And that's why you see a big up take in drug use with production.
>> That's raised concern in the oil patch as US production surges to record levels in what already is among the nation's most dangerous industries. But despite corporate or regulatory efforts to curb drug use, illegal stimulants are regularly used by many oil field workers who work long hours, performing grueling work.
>> A lot of the workers I spoke to, said they turned to methamphetamines and cocaine. That's because they give them the extra energy to work longer hours, to work long shifts that extend over a week sometimes. One of the benefits of using methamphetamine
d cocaine is that it clears your system very quickly.
So if you're gonna get drug tested, it won't be in your system as long as some other drugs. Workers that I had talked to who had used drugs, said they had no problem doing drugs on a rig. They said they have bosses who would look the other way.
If there's a ton of work to be done they just need the workers.>> That leaves little incentive to follow company drug rules and makes it even harder to kick a drug habit. Of the clients at Midland's Springboard Drug Rehabilitation Center, more than a third are currently involved in the oil and gas industry.