It’s hard for my old Marine not to get offended when every year his VA doc tests him for illicit drug use. (His private docs NEVER test him for them.) The screening panel is extensive:
Amphetamines; Barbiturates; Benzodiazepines; Cannabinoids; Cocaine; Methadone; Opiates; Phencyclidines; Ethanol; Oxycodone; Burprenorphine.
His results are always normal/appropriate (one prescribed RX) so why subject him to this belittling ritual? Is this suspicion-based testing based on his service in Vietnam perhaps?
In many states, drug testing is mandatory if one receives food assistance (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). (LINK). Here are the mean states:
At least thirteen states have passed legislation regarding drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah)
In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker wants to conduct drug testing for state unemployment benefits as is practiced in some other states. What next?
There can be valid reasons for the VA to test various drug panels since some physicians may be over-dosing patients (LINK) or if patients aren’t taking their medication. But still, the cost to state taxpayers of these bodily-fluid searches is considerable (LINK) and one can’t help but think that the VA could better spend its limited dollars in more useful ways to help veterans rather than bother veterans with drug tests (random or routine) without good cause. The ACLU has up-to-date information if you wish to consider the ramifications of drug testing vis-a-vis our constitutional rights. Has anyone ever declined a VA drug test? I wonder what punishment would be meted out if so.