State officials presented early results Tuesday of a new law that requires drug tests for welfare applicants. Of several thousand people who were screened, 89 people took the test and 21 of them tested positive.
The law requiring testing of any Work First recipient suspected of being a drug user was enacted in 2013 over Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto. After a year’s delay in implementing the law, the state began requiring the testing in August.
Of 7,600 applicants and recipients, about 2 percent were referred for drug testing. The 21 positive tests represent less than 0.3 percent of the people screened.
Work First is the state welfare program that offers short-term cash benefits, training and support services to families. In about 62 percent of Work First cases, only children get benefits — and no adults fall under the test requirement.
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