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Drug Testing For Welfare?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by sonia11, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    No. In my country folks are not tested for drugs when applying for welfare benefits. Many folks live in poverty and work is scarce as it is. It would be highly irresponsible by the government to stop folks from receiving benefits simply because they're taking drugs. They would simply turn to crime to sustain themselves or die from starvation. This would just be evil and wrong.
  2. SarahWorksAtHome

    SarahWorksAtHome Community Champion

    I cannot believe I never looked at it this way before. Your professor may have really hit the proverbial nail on the head with that lesson. It sounds so primal and like something out of a sci-fi movie but it appears to be true. While I am not and never have been the type to complain about "big brother" or what the sideways government is doing, this theory actually could be true.
    I will have to do some googling on this. I'm very interested in how Sweden is operating. Plus, Sweden is just a fun word to say.
  3. moreno58

    moreno58 Active Contributor

    I am not sure, but what I don't understand is if you are using drugs and getting welfare, that is something to think about. I mean if you can afford to support a drug habit, shouldn't you be able to buy food. I don't understand how there are some people that spend so much on something like this but can't buy food. I think it might be a good idea to test but at the same time, I'm not sure what good it would do. What would be done if a person is tested positive, and at the same time also, if a person is using, shouldn't there be a welfare check if their are kids in the home, to make sure they are being cared for. I just don't know, there is so much involved with all of this. It makes me think though, that it might be a good thing, in order to make sure the kids are being fed and all. o_O:(
  4. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    I stand against drug testing requirements for welfare participants. The purpose of welfare is to provide assistance to those in need. I feel that imposing such restrictions would only reinforce the notion that addicts are either undeserving of assistance or beyond saving.

    If I witness a man suffering and in need, then do I asses his character or habits before helping him? It is my belief that we should stretch our arms out to help everyone we can.

    The argument can be made that addicts are enabled to continue using with our tax dollars, but I believe other policies should be enforced to address this issue. Rehabilitation services, for example, could be offered to low-income individuals.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think drug testing will help in knowing who needs rehabilitation or counseling more than just food stamps. It might be costly but could also helps in solving the addiction or drug problem in the country.
  6. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I'm not sure about this one... on one side the gov would be spending more money on testing every single person on welfare, and on the other... what the heck are they supposed to do with that info? Are they going to stop giving money to those poor people? Are they going to help them with their addictions? I see no purpose for this.
  7. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    The way I see it is that if we prevent those who have substance abuse problems from claiming welfare benefits, how on earth are they going to survive? They are going to be forced into having to commit crime. This will cause a whole host of additional social problems and will end up costing the government more money.

    How about increasing the amount of detox places available instead? How about cutting the cost or the waiting times for therapy? How about making a greater effort to tackle the social problems which cause people to misuse drugs/alcohol in the first place?
    deanokat likes this.
  8. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    Drug addicts need help. We need to find a better way to deal with this situation. Most of these people already feel inadequate. We make the situation worse if we make them feel worse. They can always get someone else to get the welfare for them.
  9. Meds

    Meds Active Contributor

    I am in agreement with you. Welfare benefits are essential to the continuity of the lives of those were homeless and or destitute. It makes no sense that we put restrictions in place even if the individual who is to get the welfare benefits is an addict. I am more in favor of giving commodities to welfare beneficiaries as opposed to giving them money.
  10. Meds

    Meds Active Contributor

    That is true..... They can always get someone else to collect the welfare for them. The fact is that people always seem to find a way around the system.
  11. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    I have witnessed numerous people take advantage of government assistance in multiple ways. As a tax-paying citizen, it is extremely frustrating to watch money taken out of my paycheck and placed in the hands of people abusing the system.

    I am sure not all people who receive government assistance abuse it, but I have seen and heard of many people who have. For example, I have known fellow coworkers who lie about their income in order to receive food stamps. My husband has been approached by fellow coworkers and asked if he would like to purchase food stamps from them for a lower amount, so that they can use the cash for drugs. A friend's mom owns and operates a liquor store, where she regularly witnesses people use food stamp money on alcohol instead of buying their children groceries. It is disgusting and disheartening to see money wasted on drugs and alcohol, especially when the money could improve a child's life. I approve drug testing any individuals who receive government assistance, even if it costs more to do so. Perhaps this would encourage more people to be clean and sober.
    dechantajones likes this.
  12. dechantajones

    dechantajones Active Contributor

    I have to agree with a few other bloggers, I think it would be a good idea to have applicants and recipients of public assistance (TANF, SNAP and or Medicaid) submit to a drug test with the goal of offering them help with their addiction/disease. I say this because of the children that are affected by their parents addiction/disease. I have seen a lot of children go without proper clothing and food because their parents misuse their benefits to support their addiction. It doesn't help the situation to just deny the applicant or discontinue their benefits because they need help financially. So if the goal is to offer some sort of rehabilitation and, if necessary, parenting classes to them I'm all for drug testing.
  13. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    I'm very split as well. It's not right in one sense, because those people obviously need help and are struggling. Just because they need help doesn't mean they're using. And on the other hand, I think some might be on there to pay for their using. But I doubt that it's a very big percentage at all.
  14. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    It's costly to drug test that many people, or even just part of them. Plus, why deny children to right to food just because their parents are addicts? If we wouldn't have had food stamps when I was a child, we wouldn't have eaten.

    People seem to be under the impression that you can buy things like beer and cigarettes with food stamps. You can't. They aren't money that you can just give away in return for drugs either. Yes, you could hand your card over and someone else can use it, but in my experience the people who buy them from you normally need them just as badly and have been denied because they make enough money to support themselves in the eyes of the state (which here is not nearly enough to feed yourself and pay all of your bills).
  15. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think it's worth it. Can you just imagine how many people can mooch off of the taypayer's money buying drugs instead of food? I say prevention is way better than cure, so the mandatory tests can be a deterrent.
  16. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    No they don't need to do something like that. One has nothing to do with the other. I'm pretty sure that for the most part people that do any kinds of serious amounts of drugs, work. They have to have money to buy the drugs. The cost of living is high enough as it is overall. Whether they make money selling drugs or have a regular job. I'm sure there are people on welfare that do drugs. Who cares really? Are they lesser than those that work or who have a job? No they still need help.
    Random drug tests at traffic lights would catch more people than testing people on welfare. They could do it like the DWI checks.
  17. thash1979

    thash1979 Active Contributor

    I think this is a great idea! I do not think that these people on welfare or food stamps should be allowed to have this type of assistance if they are abusing drugs. I know of many people that drive nicer cars, wear the best brands of clothes and eat better than my family that both my husband and I work full time, and they can not even pass a drug screen. On top of that, are they using their food stamp or welfare money to purchase these drugs or to exchange this assistance for drugs? I do not want to sound jealous or greedy, but I am busting my hump 40 hours a week all so they can live better than I do. And they can not even stay clean while I am basically supporting them. I am totally for a new law being passed that would shut down this from happening. I have no problem supporting people that deserve my tax money, but I do have a problem supporting people that are sitting on their butts all day getting high eating steak dinners!
  18. melody

    melody Active Contributor

    Honestly, I think we need to be specific when we talk about welfare. Should people who have only health insurance have to submit to drug testing? I say no. Should people getting food stamps have to drug test? Again I say no. I do not believe we should prevent people who need it the most from eating an having heath care. That is just heartless. Now, should people on cash assistance or section 8 pass a drug test, and who have food stamps and cash assistance have to take a drug test? I say yes, unless someone in the household has a disability. This would cost much much less to implement, and might save money in ways people can't see yet. It would also motivate those who can work, but would rather live off the system to get a job.
  19. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    I am totally pro this. If all those people who get welfare can't stay out of drugs, why would any of the tax paying citizens pay in advance for some junkey to use drugs.

    Scan all of the assisted people. ALL of them. There are thousands of people who would need the money for the hospital bills, for quality food and so on.
    melody likes this.
  20. melody

    melody Active Contributor

    @111kg I wish it were possible to scan all of them. Unfortunately, I do not believe the infrastructure that is currently in place could support that. That is why I say scan those who take the most, and once that system is in place, then you have a strong infrastructure to build upon. Maybe at that point they could create the type of system where checking them all is a possibility. One thing though, seeing as weed is going to be legal in this state very soon, I do not think we should be testing them for medical marijuana OR low doses of marijuana. I think the test should test for all illegal drugs, high doses of marijuana and prescription drugs that were not prescribed.

    The real question is HOW would we create a system where these checks are built in to the infrastructure in a way that makes fiscal sense.