Connect with us


New Data Proves Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is a Bad Idea

Emily Cegielski



After spending more than $1 million drug testing welfare recipients, seven states have learned that it doesn’t work. A report released by ThinkProgress shows that welfare applicants actually test positive for drug use at lower rate than the general population. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the national rate of drug use in 9.4 percent. State data from Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah (the seven states with drug testing programs) found the rate of positive drug tests to welfare applicants was generally below 1 percent.

More and more states are looking at drug testing proposals that target the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TNAF) program, or welfare. At least 12 more states will consider such legislation this year. Proponents claim these bills save money, but this data proves otherwise.

Check out the full report on ThinkProgress to see the high costs and few rewards of welfare drug testing in each state.