Posey County town tests aid applicants for drugs - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

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Posey County township tests aid applicants for drugs

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POSEY CO., IN (WFIE) -

A Posey County Township says they will not provide emergency assistance to anyone unless you first get a drug test.

We have had a few people say they don't believe this new policy is a good idea, but the vast majority of those online, as well as those 14 News spoke to on Monday, believe this is a step in the right direction.

"I am responsible to the taxpayers, and also, I am responsible to the clients. I want to help them, and we've had to redefine the word 'help,'" said Lindsay Suits, Black Township's trustee. 

Suits says her office is now helping emergency assistance clients, by making them accountable for drug use.

"We now have drug testing that began on January 13th, 2013. I don't want to have our clients dependent on drugs, because then that cycle of dependency is harder to break. Because, then they won't be able to get a job," Suit told 14 News.

Suits also says she wants to make sure applicants are using money to pay for things like water and energy bills, instead of drugs.

"Probably, every one of each small communities that you will come in contact with, there will be a drug problem," Mt. Vernon resident Shanell Evans said.

Evans has lived in Mt. Vernon for two years, and says that in that time, she has noticed a drug abuse problem. She believes this new policy could be an incentive to stop drug use in Posey County.

"We take steps in the right direction. Sometimes, they're small steps. But, this is a very small part in the whole big picture, when it comes to fixing this problem," Suits said.

Suits also says that curtailing drug use will help taxpayers. She says while it does cost $60 per drug test, that dollar amount is much less than the hundreds a client would normally receive.

She also says the office saves money with this because some people simply choose to bypass the process, since they know they won't pass the test. 

Black Township is the first Indiana township to screen all applicants for emergency township assistance for drugs.

Indiana isn't among seven states that require welfare applicants to have drug screens.

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