Family services, adult services, and adult and family services are the different names to which each state calls families who are in need. Since the 1930s, and the great depression families have needed assistance with many forms of need. Most had little or no income, this creating the welfare assistance program, which was federally government, ran until the mid-1990s. Jobs come and go, and families could go from middle or high class to the bottom of the bottom low class in the blink of an eye.
This happens all the time, small towns who are lucky to have some type of factory or large business that gives employment to these people could walk away from the business or sell to a larger business who in turn takes the business into the big city. Doing this causes these small town workers to lose their jobs and could cause them to lose their homes and even their families. Welfare is an important part of assistance, when abused by having more children to get more welfare, or staying single to get more welfare are ways people abuse the system. We ask the question; should welfare recipients be drug tested?
We want to learn the pros and cons of this question and overall shine some light on the topic. In the mid-1990s President Clinton passed a law that gave each state their own rights to govern their each and own welfare system. TANF (temporary assistance for needy families), is the grant that the government gives each state to help run their own welfare program. There are just a few eligibilities that must be met for one to receive welfare and each state has the same guidelines to follow as a minimum. The first eligibility is a family or ones net/gross overall income.
A size of a family is another, are they married do they have a spouse, and how many children are involved total. Lastly, crisis situations such as; medical emergencies, pregnancy, homelessness, and the unforeseen job loss. Some of these eligibilities are abused by wanting more money and not wanting to work. So, one would have another child, or not get married to that special someone, and even teach their offspring how to receive welfare and learn to live off of it. Abusing the welfare system does nothing; you may get away with it for quite some time.
However, living a lifestyle where you hold yourself and your family back to receive benefits someone else could be utilizing is just wrong. If you are an able body person, you should be out there in the real world looking for work. Our question is if welfare recipients should be drug tested? We basically are saying that when first applying for benefits from the state, you should have to be drug tested. During your tenure on welfare you should be on a random drug testing schedule or have some type of agreement for which you could be asked at any time to take a drug test.
Too many times welfare recipients are receiving these benefits and are just flat out lazy; they know how they can trick the system and stay home all day doing drugs. We are not saying all recipients are drug users, keep it equal is all we ask. When working for an employer, usually you must take a drug test to receive employment. Most times employers make you sign an agreement that will are subjected to random drug analysis. If the working class individuals are drug tested then why should welfare recipients not to have to at least fall under some type of drug analysis?
Many states across the United States are considering legislation that would require individuals receiving public assistance to be drug tested, nearly two dozen. Although these measures are popular because of public’s attitude that many recipients are abusing illegal drugs (Join Together Staff, 2012). Studies have been conducted on the pervasiveness of drug use among welfare recipients. The findings of these studies vary widely with results ranging from 4 to 37% (Radel, Joyce, & Wulff, 2011).
The results provided such a wide range of results because of the varying definitions, testing methods, and the different thresholds used to define abuse. A 2010 on drug use and related health issues found that approximately 22. 6 million individuals between the ages 12 and older, about 8. 9% of the population, were currently using illegal drugs. A random sampling of Michigan’s welfare recipients proved that nearly the same number of its welfare recipients tested positive.
The same cannot be said for the state of Florida. In a 2011 tudy the state found that its welfare recipients were less likely than the general population to be using illegal substances (Join Together Staff, 2012). In order for the testing programs to be an effective deterrent guidelines must be agreed upon for acceptable thresholds to be established as a baseline. An Oklahoma study found that a simple questionnaire was able to accurately predict 94 out of 100 users. The questionnaire was also able to accurately detect alcohol abuse; something random drug testing cannot proving less expensive methods could be used (American Civil Liberties Union, 2008).
Another item to consider is the fact that these laws subject those individuals receiving welfare benefits to illegal search and seizure. It is for this reason that a federal judge blocked a Florida law requiring welfare recipients to be subjected to mandatory drug testing on the basis that it violated a constitutional ban on illegal search and seizure (Alvarez, 2011). The subject of drug testing for welfare is a hot topic in the states and federal government right now; there is a lot of sentiment to drug test and a lot of sentiment to not drug test.
According to Gov. Rick Perry, “Every dollar that goes to someone who uses it inappropriately is a dollar that can’t go to a Texan who needs it for housing, child care or medicine. Being on drugs makes it much harder to begin the journey to independence, which only assures individuals remain stuck in the terrible cycle of drug abuse and poverty. ” (Ward, 1012) With all of the tax reforms and policies trying to be enacted to save the federal government money and to save States money with social programs there have been many changes.
Such as SSI, Medicare one of the most radical and controversial social policy initiative was the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (Danziger 1999; Danziger and Haveman 2001;Danziger et al. 2002; Jayakody, Danziger, and Pollack 2000; Weaver2000). This showed that while there was little drug use among the recipients, it was directed at women with small children and those that were affected went to be on different welfare programs designed to help with treatment, but there were many other barriers that would affect them.
There seems to be a national disparity when looking at the prevalence and everity of substance use and abuse. As that most of the reporting in the past has been on a volunteer basis. With states now having the laws in place that prohibit drug use; the recipients need to pay for the drug test themselves to prove that they do not have a substance abuse problem. In the states that have this result has been a decrease of applicants. We find that over 70% of the over 20,000 substance abusers we have evaluated are employable at the time of applying for cash assistance, meaning that they are referred for non-intensive substance abuse treatment (less than 15 hours per week)
This is an important statistic because at the time the law was drafted, the conventional wisdom in the substance abuse treatment world had been that these clients were not employable, needed to focus single-mindedly on their treatment, and would relapse if subjected to the stress of work demands. We have found just the opposite: most substance abusers applying for or on welfare are employable, and work facilitates their recovery. House ways and means committee hearing. (2011). (). Lanham, United States, Lanham: Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc).
Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/888165221? accountid=35812 So based on most of the information that has been available, having people test for drugs while receiving welfare or cash assistance it has been shown that most individuals applying for or receiving these programs are able to be helped in other ways, with existing programs. Many issues have occurred throughout our investigation along with many others. The more important topic is whether or not those on welfare are able to be employable?
Yes, our studies have shown that a vast majority is able to work physically; they just do not want to, they do not have to the way the program is run today. Fewer applicants applied when it was known that they would be drug tested, and others on welfare who failed drug tests began to drop off the program. This allows for those who would use the program properly to get on welfare and respectfully so. We found that there are other programs that help these individuals who are on drugs to get the help they need and they are not force or even taken advantage of these programs.
Money is pouring into these programs to just be wasted on those who are abusing the same programs to begin with; negative cycle. Constitutional rights play a factor in providing welfare recipients the rights to abuse drugs and not have their homes searched the homes that the government pays for them. We believe if drug analysis was a factor then most likely the ones who abuse the program would be taken off and the ones who are willing to take drug analysis would be able to get the help they need and deserve.
We do not want to see our tax dollars wasted on these lazy welfare recipients who are just in the program to abuse it and take every dollar they can to start a cycle that will relay over to their next generation. Our concern is if our tax dollars are being used properly, why are there people who wake up every day and go to work day in and day out and they do not receive special treatment, they still have to take drug tests. Some make only a few more dollars than the welfare recipient’s sitting home all day abusing drugs and a program that was started for people who lost everything.
We want all programs and people to be treated equal and have our tax money to be spent with careful consideration. The only way to persuade legislative would be to show them the statistics and results from the studies that have been done, or take studies fairly and prove to them they are wasting millions of dollars to welfare recipients who choose to sit at home and take, take, take, rather than be a useful citizen to society. Our argument is rather or not these individuals should be drug tested and the answer is, yes!
Courtney from Study Moose
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