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View Diary: Drug testing those on welfare: still unconstitutional and a waste of money (33 comments)

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  •  And this story from yesterday... (5+ / 0-)

    Baby Soaps and Shampoos Trigger Positive Marijuana Tests

    So they drug test mothers and their babies and then baby shampoo results in a positive test.

    Positive results can precipitate an investigation by child welfare authorities. “We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused,” study co-author Dr. Carl Seashore, a pediatrician in the U.N.C. Chapel Hill newborn nursery, told My Health News Daily.


    While more sophisticated and expensive testing can easily distinguish between true and false positive results, most hospitals don’t use such tests because of the time and costs involved. And positive tests found at the hospital aren’t typically sent to outside labs for confirmation, which makes false positive results — and possible investigations afterward — all the more troubling.

    Indeed, why hospitals test infants for marijuana exposure in the first place is not entirely clear. Twelve U.S. states designate prenatal exposure to any illegal drug as child abuse; however, there is no scientific evidence that connects marijuana-smoking by a parent with abuse.

    The question is not whether it’s acceptable for expectant mothers to use illegal drugs. No child-health expert would characterize recreational drug use during pregnancy as a good idea. But it’s not at all clear that the benefits, if any, of newborn marijuana screening — particularly given how selectively the tests are administered — justify the potential harm it can cause to families.

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