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Tennessee Officials Study Drug Testing In Six States

Drug testing processes are being monitored by Tennessee officials in 6 states before providing similar procedures in their state. Department of Human Services has been granted time until January 2014 to complete a plan and submit progress reports of each quarter. Raquel Hatter, Commissioner of Department of Human Services, stated in her first report that this will provide a deeper insight on the implementation policies and hurdles faced by other state authorities.

Anyone who seeks help through Temporary Assistance department for Needy Families could be suspiciously tested for drug usage. The 6 states currently monitored are Utah, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida and Arizona as mentioned in Hatter’s letter. These states have their own process for considering a suspect drug user for additional drug test, like filling a three question statement in Arizona that helps to decide if there is reasonable cause for testing.

Failing a drug test in any of these states makes a resident ineligible for state benefits for a period of time which can be from one month to three years. The law also has provisions of reducing the time period if some person enrolls in to a drug rehabilitation program. The drug testing law of Tennessee mandates five panel urine drug test and requires the officials of Department of Human Services to develop a screening program that can establish reasonable cause for testing a suspect for drug usage.

The Department of Human Services also confirmed that a study of the potential cost and the basic procedures for the authorities to administer drug test is under process and the state is planning to start the program at July 1, 2014.