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The Government Thinks One In 12 People On Welfare Are Also On Drugs

They may lose their Centrelink payments

The Government Thinks One In 12 People On Welfare Are Also On Drugs

A Federal Government drug testing scheme expects one in 12 welfare recipients to return a positive result to illegal substance use.

Of 5,000 randomly selected recipients, the Government expects some 425 to test positive to banned substances, the ABC reports.

That’s about one in 12, with those testing positive to banned substances including ice and ecstasy set to lose their funding payments, plus fork out the costs of the test.

The Department for Social Services says recipients must undergo initial tests at the start of the scheme, with further tests to make sure bad behaviour isn't repeated.

Department rep Cath Halbert said positive tests were anticipated to dip from 425 in the initial stage to 120 in the second round of tests.

'If one or both tests return positive, they will be called back within 25 working days to have a second test to ensure this is actually an ongoing issue and they will be required to pay for that test too,' told the ABC.

The method of testing is yet to be decided, but young people found at risk of substance abuse will be required to undergo random saliva, urine or hair follicle tests for drugs in three locations from 2018.