Since it’s inception in 1939, America’s food stamp program has helped families in crisis. Other welfare programs, such as TANF and WIC, have truly made a difference in the lives of American families. Families are kept together, children are healthier and often times, recipients are able to use the welfare to help them as they find a new job. In some cases, welfare might even save lives. But, of course, the system has its flaws, and many argue that tax payer dollars are being wasted.
Some citizens believe that recipients of welfare should undergo mandatory drug testing. There are many pros and cons of drug testing people on welfare. According to stopthedrugwar.com here, lawmakers in several states want recipients to submit to random drug testing.
Is it fair? Many people argue it definitely is. After all, welfare recipients accept millions of American dollars in aid every year. It would only be fair for them to be tested to ensure the assistance is dispersed of properly. Also, many places of employment practice random drug testing. If it happens in the workforce, why would it be unfair for welfare recipients?
There are many pros and cons of this issue. Ultimately, the biggest positive of this program is that it would deter recipients from purchasing and using illegal drugs. This might mean they don’t even need the welfare in the first place. It could also keep children, and society in general, safer. It could help social workers know when children are around drug abuse, and thus prevent further abuse in families. It could help lower the demand for illegal drugs on the streets. It could possibly even save the system some money, as those who are on drugs would not receive welfare. It could even create new jobs for people to oversee the drug testing.
However, there are many cons of mandatory drug testing for people on welfare as well. One of the biggest negatives is that it is costly. Illegal drug testing is not cheap. It could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, even if just one of every five recipients was tested. However, this may be rationalized by saying that the cost that drugs have on our society in general would be lowered. Another negative is that some people who are on prescription medication could show false positives, and be discriminated against, even with a doctor’s involvement. Many people argue that it is simply an invasion of privacy.
If you are writing an argumentative essay, or research paper on this topic, it might be beneficial to contact a social worker. Ask for his/ her perception on this issue. You could then use the quote in your paper. You might also ask someone in law enforcement or criminal justice for insight. You might also contact someone who works in the welfare office, if possible, for their thoughts on this issue. You could even ask someone who is on public assistance (you can ask anonymous on message boards) on how they feel about it.
Welfare and public assistance programs are under scrutiny for many reasons. Drug testing of welfare recipients might help our society, or it could even make little or no difference. For more details on this social issue, check out these articles written by other concerned citizens.