A new law in Oklahoma requiring welfare recipients to pass a drug screen or lose their benefits was passed back in May 2012 and went into effect on November 1, 2012. Adults who apply in Oklahoma to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program will be denied benefits if they fail the drug test or refuse to submit to screening.

The original bill was passed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin on May 16, 2012. "Hard working taxpayers shouldn't be asked to subsidize drug abuse, and this bill will help to ensure they are not," Fallin said in a statement.

In cases involving just children or underage parents, drug screening will not be required. Furthermore, an alternate recipient may be named if a parent has been denied benefits. Welfare applicants who do test positive for illegal drugs will have the opportunity to undergo substance abuse treatment and may reapply for benefits six months after their initial denial.

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