A year after Tennessee began its welfare drug-testing program, only 55 recipients tested positive for drugs, according to the state’s Department of Human Services. The results are similar to those of other states that have implemented drug-testing programs for people receiving government benefits, according to The Huffington Post.
Of 28,559 people in Tennessee who applied for benefits during the one-year period ending in July, 468 were tested for drugs because their answers on a questionnaire suggested they might be using drugs. Of that group, only 55 tested positive. They can continue to receive benefits if they enroll in treatment. If they don’t receive treatment, the state can appoint a “protective payee” to allow their children to get benefits.
Although states that require drug screening and testing for government benefits recipients report low rates of positive drug tests, the policy remains popular among politicians, the article notes.