Approximately 4 percent of TANF recipients reported illicit substance abuse or dependence. Approximately 4.3 percent of TANF recipients reported alcohol abuse or dependence.
Simple use of alcohol or illicit substances should be distinguished from patterns of substance use that create medical or social difficulties for the user or for others. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) establishes explicit criteria for substance abuse and dependence which provide the foundation for clinical and epidemiological study (APA, 1994).
Within the 2007 NSDUH, 3.9 percent of TANF recipients satisfy criteria for illicit drug abuse or dependence; 4.3 percent of TANF recipients satisfy criteria for alcohol use disorders (Metsch and Pollack, 2005), (Pollack and Reuter, 2006). These prevalences are slightly below those found in pre-reform surveys of welfare recipients (Jayakody et al., 2000), (Grant and Dawson, 1996).