Drugs Social Safety Net

Tennessee Drug Testing Program Finds Virtually No Drug Use

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The results from the first year of drug testing for welfare recipients in Tennessee are in and the results are not good if you believe there is any merit to this program.

In total, just 1.6 percent of the 28,559 people who applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits in the first year of testing answered one of the three screening questions positively. Out of the 468 people who peed in a state-funded cup, 11.7 percent flunked the test.

With 55 people testing positive for drugs out of an applicant pool of nearly 30,000, Tennessee’s testing system uncovered that a whopping 0.19 percent of those who applied for aid were drug users. Ultimately, 32 applicants were denied benefits for failing to complete the state’s mandatory drug rehab process for those who test positive.

Only 55 out of 28,559 tested positive, and out of those 55 only 32 were ultimately denied benefits.

Those who tested positive are required to pay for their own tests, however the cost of testing the other 413 people is covered by the state. The state obviously also covers the cost of screening and the staff who perform the tests.

The state has undoubtedly spent more money on this program than it saved by denying benefits to 32 people.

Beyond the financial cost, there's also a human cost. What exactly will those 32 people do now? Become homeless? What amount of psychological damage has this done to the hundreds of people tested for unfounded reasons?

I suppose the human cost is of no concern if you're a lizard.

  • McKinley

    NIH study finds 9.4 of Americans (age 12 and over) report using illicit drugs in the past month.

    That means Tennesseeans seeking welfare are 50 TIMES LESS LIKELY to use drugs than the average.American.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    The state has undoubtedly spent more money on this program than it saved by denying benefits to 32 people.

    Republican voters don’t care. They’d rather spend $200 to deny some undeserving person $100 worth of benefits. And they’d rather have $500 of their tax dollars go to Boeing or General Dynamics to build jet planes and engines that never fly, than have $1 of their tax dollars go to some poor kid in Detroit so he can eat macaroni instead of newspaper.

  • 1933john

    I would look into who is the vendor of the cups.

  • muselet

    The state has undoubtedly spent more money on this program than it saved by denying benefits to 32 people.

    But it’s the principle of the thing!

    Beyond the financial cost, there’s also a human cost.

    A human cost? What are ya, some kinda politically-correct socialistical hippie or sumpin’?

    Just like the optimistic little boy looking for the pony because he sees a big pile of manure, the Rs will drug-test people on public assistance everywhere they can because somewhere, sometime, somehow, they’ll find all those lazy, drug-addicted layabouts who are wasting taxpayer dollars!

    Heartless bastards.

    –alopecia

    • j hentai

      and proud of it!

  • Aynwrong

    So the results of the testing was to prove that all the “concern” conservatives had about drug addled moochers living off hard working “real Muicans” was yet another hoax.

    What a shock.

  • Christopher Foxx

    and the results are not good if you believe there is any merit to this program

    The results are great for those who saw merit in this program. Since, to see any point to it, they had to be deluding themselves. So the fact that they found 32 (!!) people they could cut from the welfare rolls is, to them, just proof that the testing is clearly needed.

    After all, 32 is more than they can count on their fingers, including their toes, so it must be a big number.

    • j hentai

      are you sure? these are tennesse republicans we’re talking about!