Is it fair that in order to obtain a job, some people go through drug testing while drug and alcohol abusers receive free, no strings attached, financial assistance (see appendix A)? Food stamps and Medicaid are provided to low and no income Americans who would otherwise do without. According to heritage.org, a majority of the illegal drug use in American adults is tied to unemployed citizens. While there are many people who disagree with testing welfare recipients, the truth is that the pros greatly outweigh the cons. The long term improvements that drug testing will have on the country are substantial. The wellbeing and stability of America’s children, unemployment, fairness across the board for all Americans and the economy; all play
To test or not to test has been has been the question at hand for many states that are dealing with whether or not to pass the law that welfare recipients should or should not be drug tested in order to receive assistance from the government. Florida was the first state to mandate the law in 2011 and thereafter twenty four other states in the last year have also passed this law with our own state of Oklahoma being one of them. Although alcohol is legal it is abused far more than marijuana or hard core drugs, According to the 1996 study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism the differences between the proportion of welfare and non-welfare recipients using illegal drugs are statistically insignificant. Although some states have decided to pass the law for welfare recipients in order receive government assistance, I believe it’s ineffective to drug test these welfare recipients in order to receive their benefits. Welfare in the United States commonly refers to the federal government welfare programs that have been put in place to assist the unemployed or underemployed. Help is extended to the poor through a variety of government welfare programs that include the Women, Infants, and Children Program which is referred to as WIC, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families commonly known as TANF and Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
In 2010, 17.5% of unemployed adults collecting some sort of welfare failed drug tests. In 2011, 23.8% of welfare recipients admitted to using illegal drugs, including marijuana. The problem the United States if facing is that welfare recipients are using the cash they are given to purchase illegal drugs. Many of these people purchasing illegal drugs had prior illegal drug abuse problems and some of these people believe that since they are given this “free” money, they can continue on with these addictions instead of finding the help they need to get back onto their own two feet. Many employers ask all of their job applicants for a drug test to even be considered for the job, so why shouldn’t the government ask the same for people looking
The process of drug testing individuals who are applying or receiving welfare benefits has recently become the focus of a widely spread controversy. Florida, the first state to pass the law, now requires all individuals applying for public assistance to undergo drug testing. The state of Kentucky, among others, have considered following this trend. State lawmakers hope to prevent the squandering of taxpayer dollars on drugs by proposing similar guidelines. Alabama’s states representative Kerry Rich clearly affirmed his state’s position on the matter, “I don’t think the taxpayers should have to help fund somebody’s drug habit” (qtd. in Time).
In today’s America, government aid is highly depended on. The US government has spent $498 billion dollars this year on welfare alone. The state of Tennessee has an average of 250,000 residents on welfare and has $3 billion dollars this year alone. To help cut costs and help tax payers, 36 states, including Tennessee, have proposed a bill to drug test all welfare recipients. Since the beginning of the year, the welfare rate has jumped 7 percent while at the same time, the welfare funds are drying up. Tennessee funds have dropped 17.5 percent, which comes out to be about $215.3 million dollars this year. State lawmakers have proposed that if drug users on welfare are
Since the reformation of welfare in 1996, nearly all states have attempted to pass legislation to require the use of drug testing among welfare recipients. Thirteen states have passed legislation and there are currently seven states testing applicants for drugs. The results have been somewhat anticlimactic, as the number of positive drug test results is lower than the national average. There are many concerns surrounding the issue of drug testing welfare recipients, including the cost, constitutionality, and the effect on children.
There has been an ongoing controversy as to whether welfare recipients should have to have drug testing done. Drug testing will ensure that recipients will not abuse the money they’re given by the government. Having people on welfare take drug test is advantageous because it could save the system money, it would help social workers identify children who are around drug abuse, and it would deter people from purchasing and using illegal drugs; however, it does have a downside such as people who are on prescription medication will show false positives, it can be an invasion of privacy and drug testing can take hundreds and even thousands of dollars to administer.
Drug abuse is a huge epidemic in America, and we need to come for all angles to try and stop it. One of which can be from the welfare side. Drug testing is thought to decrease drug abuse with people on welfare. If people know that they have to pass a drug test to be able to get money for their necessities, it may encourage them to never use in the first place. It also might help them realize they have a problem and help give them a reason to get clean. This is important because an addict needs something to drive them to want to get clean, and knowing they will not receive government assistance if using can be a huge reason to be clean. Also drug testing will make the state aware and available to help the welfare recipients. The Mayor of New York Rudolph W. Giuliani says, “ Welfare recipients who test positive for drugs would be required to enroll in a drug treatment program or join a waiting list for treatment to keep getting benefits.” In Rhode Island a law bans recipients who fail a drug test from getting welfare for a year, unless they complete a substance abuse treatment successfully. Once they do complete treatment they can reapply after six months. Both of these states are giving people that fail a second chance, and maybe their only chance.
The numbers do not lie—little evidence exists that supports the claim that drug testing recipients will save money. Striving to prove that the main source of the drug problem in the United States lies in the recipients of the welfare program, policymakers continue to work fervently. The overgeneralization of the poor as drug users has become common practice in Washington. Lawmakers seem to feel that because recipients receive government funding, they in turn give up their constitutional rights as U.S. citizens. The practice of criminalizing the poor has become commonplace in the creation of U.S. governmental policy.
As Lombardo says, “Many people need to be drug tested in order to have gainful employment and a regular paycheck. If it is a normal part of life for the vast majority of a country’s population, then the system of testing is already in place to add welfare recipients into the regular testing cycle.” Every year local, state, and national government programs offer low-income households the opportunity to make impoverished peoples needs to be met. These welfare systems have a 3% abuse rate where recipients use their benefits for alcohol and illicit drugs. To maintain compliance with program regulations, drug testing would have to be in the
Should welfare recipients be drug tested? What do you think about this argument? Although some people believe that welfare recipients should not be drug tested because it invades their privacy, welfare recipients should be drug tested because, taxpayers provide the benefit, improves the health and safety of their children and, because it helps to break the poverty cycle.
People collecting welfare should undergo drug testing to get the money the government is giving them, because it makes welfare applicants go down at least 48 percent, it also will help the national debt go down and help people with their drug problems. There are many benefits of drug testing welfare recipients.
This paper will explore the pros and cons on the issue of drug testing welfare recipients and applicants. The journals and articles used to determine whether drug testing is necessary or a hindrance to public assistance applicants, recipients and the government vary in their argument on the effects of those who receive assistance. The study, completed by Anderson, Shannon, Schyb and Goldstein (2002) determined that, due to the change in Welfare reform in 1996, the disruption of benefits increased the risk homelessness and usage of drugs and alcohol. Montoya, Bell, Atkinson, Nagy and Whitsett (2002) studied the differences in 442 female welfare recipients’ psychological and employment well-being based on chronic use or non-drug usage. Morgenstern and Blanchard (2006) argue that the changes in welfare reform may significantly reduce the amount of drug using recipients and applicants on welfare and increase in substance abuse programs. This paper will examine statistical data, recommendations by the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights and the studies of Anderson et al. (2002), Montoya et al.(2002), and Morgenstern et al.(2006) to bring to light the varying conclusions made over the last 13 years, 2002-2015, as to the effectiveness and ineffectiveness that drug testing may have on welfare recipients and applicants.
In the last few years at least thirteen states have passed a legislation in regards for drug testing/screening for anyone on public assistant applicants and/or recipients (NCSL). The thirteen states that have passed the legislation are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah (NCSL). Applicants should be drug tested/screened if applying or already on Welfare to ensure that they are responsible with the way they are spending the government’s money. Applicants and/or recipients should be drug tested to protect the government money being spent, to ensure the money is being spent in the way it should be, and to make sure the money is not being sold for cash.
People receiving government assistance should be required to submit a drug test for benefits, because it would save taxpayers’ money. There are currently seven states in America that drug screen their assistance receiving citizens. Many people want to argue that the findings are disheartening based on a few to a couple hundred people testing positive. The thing that people do not understand however, is that per every person who tests positive is a few hundred to a thousand dollars not being wasted the next month. Think about it, say citizens in Iowa receive $500 in benefits. Out of all of the welfare recipients, 100 test positive for