Read time: 1 minute

Another State Fails The Drug Test

This doesn't have a damn thing to do with an actual problem.
Another State Fails The Drug Test

Yep. This has been a giant money-waster (except for the politically-connected companies that always seem to get these drug-testing contracts), and these results are right in line with the other wingnut states that have tried it:

But an examination of Arizona's experiment reveals a flawed policy that has failed to accomplish its stated goal. Instead of saving the state money, it's cost taxpayers millions of dollars while doing little more than further stigmatizing poverty and marginalizing the poor.

The results are thin: According to USA Today, Arizona tested more than 87,000 welfare recipients in the three years after the program began. The total number of drug cheats caught was exactly one — a single positive result, which saved the state precisely $560.

Checking in again in March, the Arizona Sonora News Service cited state Department of Economic Security figures which found that over the course of more than five years, "42 people have been asked to take a follow-up drug test and 19 actually took the test, 16 of whom passed. The other 23 were stripped of their benefits for failing to take the drug test."

That adds up to a grand total of three failed tests from 2009-2014. The net savings reaped from withholding benefits for those who either tested positive or failed to complete a drug test was around $3,500, once the $500 cost of testing the 19 is factored in, according to one state agency report. The haul is especially unimpressive when you consider the $1.7 million in savings state officials promised when they unveiled the program.


Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.