Drug Testing Welfare Applicants

As of 2011 there are 4. 3 million Americans on welfare and using 131 billion dollars that come from the tax payers. Welfare has been a hot issue in the United States for a while and a common debate is whether citizens that qualify for welfare should be drug tested or not. Most Americans agree that some sort of support system for citizens that are struggling financially is a good idea and can help some get back on their feet. Others will argue that many people on welfare abuse their privileges to fund their substance abuse and misuse the taxpayer’s money.
My own view is that people should have to pass a drug test in order to receive these government handouts and prevent habitual users from abusing these privileges. Welfare is a federally funded program that gives monetary assistance to citizens who have little to no income. The United States welfare system began back in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression, era due to an overwhelming amount of families that were struggling to get by. Still today there are millions of people barely making by during these tough economic times.
Citizens can apply for different types of welfare including social welfare, corporate welfare, child welfare to name some of the most popular. On these types of welfare people can receive different types of aid such as health care, food stamps or child care. There are many factors go into a person’s eligibility for a welfare program. Eligibility is determined by using gross and net income, size of the family, and certain situations such as medical emergencies, pregnancy, homelessness or unemployment.

After the initial application a case worker will gather all this information and determine if the person qualifies for any benefits and how much he or she can receive. A person can also apply for a state run welfare program called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF. TANF, however, is different than most and requires that the applicant find work within two years of receiving aid. Not finding work will result in a loss of these benefits. A drug test is a technical analysis of a biological specimen such as urine, hair, blood or saliva, to determine the presence or absence of specified drugs in a person’s system.
A urine drug test, which is the most common in the United States, screens for ten types of drugs: Amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids (THC), cocaine, methadone, methaqualone, opiates, phencyclidine, and propoxyphene. All of these drugs have various detection periods in the human body but the average is two to ten days. Within this window of time. Studies have shown that the prevalence of substance abuse among welfare recipients has varied widely in their findings, with rates of between 10 and 37 percent.
Much of the difference in rates found in these studies is due to different data sources, definitions, and measurement methods and the different thresholds used to define substance abuse. Another difference is whether alcohol abuse and/or the abuse of prescription drugs are included in the estimate. Also how can we get true evidence when we don’t have the means to drug test these welfare recipients yet. Employers require drug testing before employment so why should welfare recipients get the same treatment for the gift of receiving government funding.
Its tax dollars of the working people funding someone else’s addictions. Drug use and use and its consequences affect all of society that is vital to a strong America. Drug use strains our healthcare, criminal justice systems and endangers the future of our young people with the overall strain on our economy. Florida recently became the first state to require adults applying for cash welfare assistance (i. e. , not food stamps and housing assistance) to undergo drug screenings. Florida Gov.
Rick Scott defended the new rule by arguing that: “It’s not right for taxpayer money to be paying for somebody’s drug addiction. … On top of that, this is going to increase personal responsibility and personal accountability. We shouldn’t be subsidizing people’s addiction. ” In 2009, 20 states put in proposals to pass the drug test laws and at least 36 states put proposals in 2011 around drug testing of welfare (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families – TANF) and food stamp (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP) recipients.
When Florida passed the law of requiring drug tests to receive welfare it set a precedent for other states to follow. Florida government believed that by passing this law itwould deter people from misusing welfare benefits to buy drugs. Florida expects the recipients to pay for the drug test and the government will reimburse the recipient the cost of the drug test. Arizona and Missouri require testing for anyone they “reasonably” suspect of illegal drug use. As of April17, 2010 Utah and Georgia also passed legislation for drug testing.