Drug testing for welfare recipients

Drug testing for welfare recipients is a prudent action receiving numerous support across the nation. According to the National Conference of States Legislatures (NCSL), 15 American States had passed laws in their favor by March 2017, with even more considering following suit (National Conference of States Legislatures, 2017). Some legislatures required screening for all public assistance applicants while others restricted it to those “there was reason to believe needed testing.” (National Conference of States Legislatures, 2017). There are at least five arguments in support of such endeavors.  Misappropriation of public funds is unethical, and taxpayers cannot support the idea of governments using taxes to fund drug abuse. Drug testing activities would ensure welfare recipients use welfare money to support their basic needs, including food, clothing, and shelter, not to buy drugs. Testing would also help identify people in need of substance treatment benefiting the individuals, their families, and society. According to drug-test advocates, testing thus reduces the socioeconomic effects of drug abuse. Additionally, testing is a long-term saving strategy incurring minimal costs today to avoid more considerable expenses in the future. 

Additional bureaucratic requirements discourage unmerited enrolment. Therefore, drug tests for welfare applicants and beneficiaries encourage job searches to avoid tedious paperwork, reducing long-term welfare use. Therefore, people will rely on welfare only without any other alternatives. Notably, drug tests are required during job recruitment procedures, and job seekers do not hesitate to undergo them. Drug test advocates thus argue that it would be fair to apply the same approach in public assistance applications and enlistments.  Ultimately, authorities may use alternative testing techniques (National Conference of States Legislatures, 2017). Welfare recruiters can reserve compulsory drug tests for welfare beneficiaries they suspect engaging in illegal drug activities or drug use disorders

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