(07/26/2012)
West Virginia is now drug testing people who seek job training through federally funded programs administered by Workforce West Virginia.

The order by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin came about after recurring complaints from state employers regarding job applicants or employees they have hired.

The screening mandate does not apply to unemployment benefits.

The screening will test applicants for 10 categories of drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine and synthetic drugs.

Officials said that those who test positive are barred from training for 90 days if they test positive, pending a follow-up screening.

If applicants flunk the drug test, they must wait one year before trying again.

The test results are confidential.

Civil libertarians have expressed fear that the government is moving toward universal testing.

About 30 states, including West Virginia, have considered requiring drug tests for people who seek public assistance, unemployment benefits or public employment.

The issue with drug testing is where does it stop.

Teacher unions have widely protested the testing of teachers, although WV students are randomly tested who participate in extra-curricular activities.

In 2008, West Virginia out-ranked Tennessee as the nation's biggest user of prescription drugs per capita, according to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, although there was a protest by some state pharmicists protesting the finding.

The BC/BS statement indicated that Mountain State residents are sicker more often or state physicians tend to give them a lot of medication, or both.

But most nationwide studies say West Virginians are among the most unhealthy in the nation, but the state does have among the highest number of senior citizens.


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