The results are thin: According to USA Today, three years after the program began Arizona had tested more than 87,000 welfare recipients. 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
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 shockingly unimpressive when you
consider the $1.7 million in savings state officials promised when they
began the program.