Resolved: Should welfare recipients receive drug testing?
Since welfare programs started in the 60s, a reoccurring pattern has been seen in more cases than one. Fraudulent activity and taking advantage of the system has been happening for way too long in our society. A simple drug test should be administered to welfare recipients if they expect to receive the benefits that are offered to them. If other citizens such as the ones in the working class are held accountable to be administered a drug screening, those who would like to receive government assistance should be held to the same standard. The abolition of the entitlement culture found in American society will ultimately benefit the Countries economy and character. While the concept of this practice is not to stereotype against the lower class, it should be seen as a mandatory evaluation to those who would like to continue benefitting from the government’s aid. The goal of drug testing welfare recipients is not to revoke their privileges, it is simply to reform the system of welfare and make sure that those who truly need assistance are having their needs met.
I.) The controversy of how many welfare recipients tested for substance abuse has been proven to be skewed.
A.) The American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) finds that only 2.6 percent of welfare recipients in Florida study tested negative for substance abuse. The state of Florida drug tested 4,086 applicants. Only 108 individuals tested positive, however, it is obvious that many recipients delay application due to the fact that they know they will have their benefits stripped because of the positive results. (Bragdon) 1.) As a result of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) act, recipients would be required to pay out of pocket to be administered a urinalysis, and would be reimbursed if passed, further backing up the idea of skewed evidence as recipients would be much more likely to not spend their own money on a test that they would be sure to fail. With almost $58,000 spent reimbursing drug test fees and total savings from drug-related denials at $1.8 million, the drug test requirement is saving Florida taxpayers $30.64 for every $1 spent. 2.) The U.S Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services appointed a national survey in 2009, concluding that 8.7 percent of the population over the age of 12 proves to use illicit drugs. With such a prominent amount of the population being related to the abuse of various substances, it can be very well concluded that the reason for such a miniscule amount of recipients failing the administered tests is due to the fact that many of the users did not in fact, take the test at all.
3.) The results of the ACLU study fail to investigate how many of the tested welfare recipients that passed the drug testing would have tested positive on other controlled substances such as prescription pills that many defend to be a “false positive”. According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 48.5% of Americans take at least one form of prescription drug, and a similar study, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health concluded that at least an estimated 2.4 million Americans abuse prescription pills daily. Also, of public assistance recipients treated for substance abuse in 2008, the most common primary substance of abuse was alcohol (37 percent of those treated). (Bragdon) II.) Drug testing welfare recipients is classified as “Unconstitutional”
A.) The Supreme Court’s “Special Needs Doctrine” can be used to classify the act of requiring welfare recipients to pass a scheduled or random drug testing as constitutional (NCSL) 1.) The doctrine of unconstitutional conditions requires a different analysis under which conditioning welfare on consent to testing may very well be a constitutional condition, the eleventh circuit panel has done much research to prove this theory. (Wurman) 2.) The “Germaneness” of a bill of...
Cited: . DRUG TESTING WELFARE RECIPIENTS: RECENT PROPOSALS AND CONTINUING CONTROVERSIES. US dep. of health and human services, n.d. Web. 17 Nov 2013. .
"http://www.cdc.gov/." Therapeutic Drug Use. Office of Information Services, 30 May 2013. Web. 17 Nov 2013. .
Ilan, Wurman. "Unconstitutional Conditions and Drug Testing Welfare Recipients ." Jurist. Endia Vereen, 13 Mar 2013. Web. 17 Nov 2013. .
"GERMANENESS REQUIREMENTS." National Conference of State Legislatures. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov 2013.
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