Former Drug Czar Says Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is Counterproductive

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Tallahassee, FL -- September 23, 2011 --

Studies show that more than one out of every four returning veterans is alcohol or drug addicted. The number is growing everyday.

“We get a lot of this kids home who are seriously damaged,” McCaffrey told the crowd.

Former White House Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, speaking to a crowd of former and recovering addicts near Pensacola, says the problem is worse: many soldiers are returning to fight impaired.

“We owe them significant interventions in their lives,” he said.

Asked about Florida’s new policy of testing welfare recipients…some of whom are returning veterans, McCaffrey says the policy is misguided.

“What kind of sense does that make? You’ve got to make the barriers to entering rehabilitation low. You want people in treatment,” McCaffrey said.

A former Navy veteran is the lead plaintiff in the ACLU’s law suit against testing.

Clinical experts generally support drug testing, but they say once someone tests positive, there needs to be treatment.

Something the state does not offer to those who test positive.

“Children are not responsible for their parent using,” Clinical expert Diane Vchulek said. “We need to offer some kind of help.”

Treatment experts say Post Traumatic Stress if the first indication of possible addiction. And as more veterans return, can’t find work and apply for benefits, more of them will be denied.

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