Researchers examined State and Federal legislative proposals to require drug tests as a condition of eligibility for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. They discussed the prevalence of substance abuse among program recipients, how states typically address substance abuse in their welfare programs, the variety of drug testing proposals now under discussion in states, and legal and practical issues raised by drug testing proposals.
The majority of states had active legislative proposals regarding drug testing of applicants or recipients, though only a few had approved legislation and only Florida was conducting suspicionless testing of applicants and participants. Bills being considered in State legislatures varied significantly on many features, including who was tested and under what circumstances, whether substance abuse assessments and/or treatment were made available to those who tested positive, and whether the proposals included features intended to prohibit the misuse of information obtained and/or to protect the well-being of the children in households denied benefits.
Report Title: Drug Testing Welfare Recipients: Recent Proposals and Continuing Controversies, http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/11/DrugTesting/ib.shtml
Agency Sponsor: OASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Laura Radel, 202-690-5938
Record ID: 9662 (October 1, 2011)