Should drug testing be mandatory for welfare recipients?

Like Tree70Likes



If that's your personal interest. OK. But that is totally outside the scope of my question. I wasn't asking how to help ppl develop better money management skills.

I was asking specifically about the issue of drug testing.

Is it fair, effective, efficacious, feasible, reccommendable, evidence-based, etc. Why or why not?

If I am on welfare and I am addicted to drugs, what better way to help me than to identify my problem and compell me to get treatment? Or will other things help me more?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
It looks like cmb answered your question. She doesn't think drug testing is practical because most drug addicts don't receive benefits and most people "wasting" their benefits would test negative for a drug test.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
So it comes down to the fiscal impracticality? But not outright support or opposition?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Not only is is fiscally impractical, there is no point. And to me that is the bigger issue. If it costs a ton and money and actually had some benefit, that would be a different story
But when people responded citing cost-effectiveness over implied morality (i.e., help for addiction v. right to privacy, regardless of government support) you didn't seem willing to accept it.

I don't know what the right thing to do is in these situations. The people I've known who were on welfare were not very happy, and one, at least, used drugs for escapism. I would have been unhappy in her shoes, too. I don't know how she paid for what she had, and I don't know what criteria she had to meet in order to receive the benefits she did.

To me the crux of the issue is right to privacy. Where does it end? Is that what you're asking, or are you asking about moral judgement?

Dogs and nature abhor a vacuum.
http://geaugadoggy.wordpress.com
But when people responded citing cost-effectiveness over implied morality (i.e., help for addiction v. right to privacy, regardless of government support) you didn't seem willing to accept it.

I don't know what the right thing to do is in these situations. The people I've known who were on welfare were not very happy, and one, at least, used drugs for escapism. I would have been unhappy in her shoes, too. I don't know how she paid for what she had, and I don't know what criteria she had to meet in order to receive the benefits she did.

To me the crux of the issue is right to privacy. Where does it end? Is that what you're asking, or are you asking about moral judgement?
Originally Posted by claudine19
I will accept any honest, thoughtful answer.

And I do accept the financial reason....to a point. I'm just probing to really see if I understand or if i am possibity missing something.

Public assistance is a costly endeavor for any group of taxpayers. It would be cheaper not to offer it. But a sense of social responsibility makes us do so.

What is the problem with adding an occasional extra $40 onto the tab to do a drug screen (if it could possibly improve some condition with which critics of the welfare system take issue)?

I am not getting agressive (not intentionally) but I think some ppl are being intentionally coy or obfuscatory or whatever in their responses. And there are all sorts of outt of hand conclusions being drawn and assumptions being made like someone is calling ppl who receive public assistance benefits lazy or that everyone receiving public assistance is thought to be using drugs.

Those types of comments are so irrelevent and unresponsive and just inaccurate. It's like an "I know you are but what am I" kind of discussion.

I think "right to privacy" is a totally legitimate and acceptable stance/argument.

I'm not tryin to force you to type a lengthy post but I would love to hear more on that. But if not, OK...then it's just a concise answer.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 01-31-2013 at 02:03 PM.
I have looked at the good and the bad with this issue (you can't one w/o the other), and gone back and forth with my answer as a result. For across the board testing I have to say no, and I'll be happy to explain why.

I live in an area where there are not real time limits on benefits. As long as you are considered eligible, you qualify. Because of this I personally know, and have known, many families who stay in the system. Mom and dad, their children, their children's children, their children's children, on and on. It is a vicious cycle where family members are taught to rely on the benefits, and nothing else. Many are/become addicts. This infuriates me to no end because I have seen so many bright and beautiful people resign to this taught/learned fate rather than trying for anything beyond it. It's a true waste of potential, and few I know have managed to escape. If they were helped to do more (through education and reasonable limits, given the current job market) perhaps they would, but drug testing is not the lone cure all for this.

I also got off the school bus at DSS for many years. I sat in the parking lot and watched people trade the (then) food stamp books for drugs. It was not hard. Dealers hung out behind a church across the parking lot. Many others came out and sold the books to people for cash, and this was also a common sight in the A&P parking lot. It was an all day, every day, occurrence and a ugly reality. Again, I personally knew many of them (it's a small town) and they were simply misusing benefits. Seeing this has given me the most pause when looking at my feelings on the matter. It made me angry for their children and for the ones needing assistance, due to legitimate circumstances. There are MANY, and that alone is what the programs should be there for. So many were taking valuable resources from those who are truly in need, and trading it for a constant high. Again problems with the system, and a lack of personal accountability, were easily allowing this. A drug test alone will not solve it.

I've seen addicted and non addicted (know I do not typically relate pot to addiction, so I am talking harder drugs) parents let their children's teeth rot out, and allow them to remain malnourished, when they had access to full benefits. That person needs to be held accountable, educated, and regularly tested if need be. At the end of the day it was their choice to trade benefits for drugs AND neglect, misuse, and allow their children to suffer. That has to be recognized, understood, and dealt with before any help/change can happen. On the other hand, I have seen many get temporary needed help, and work toward getting themselves and their family in a better situation, and succeed beautifully. They do not need to be tested. Especially not at $500 a pop. No one should be lumped into a bad category/stereotyped because of financial status/hard times. That has nothing to do with it BUT those who give it a bad name should not be allowed to easily take advantage of/misuse valuable resources.

At the end of the day, it's going to take more than a test to fix what is broken. In some situations I believe testing could be very beneficial here, and in many others its a waste of time and $$$. If anything it should be judged on a case file by case file basis, when specific criteria is met.

I could also say the same about disability, and other programs. There is no simple answer to any issues when dealing with fraud/mis-appropriation of resources.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I certainly agree that it's (right to privacy) something to consider. If I have to routinely take a test to prove to my employer that I am drug-free (or else get fired), then why should someone on welfare enjoy greater privacy than what I'm allowed? Shouldn't our rights be equal? Or, does it depend on what my duties are, such as if I drive a truck, or work with volatile substances in a laboratory? If a person with children on welfare tests positively for illegal drugs, is he or she necessarily endangering those children?

I would state an opinion if I were sure of where I stand on the details of our right to privacy in the U.S. I just don't know, however. The only time I personally felt the effects of this issue was when I was traveling, and my name was called out over a loudpseaker in a European airport, and an armed airline "official" searched my luggage (in a concrete cell, while on camera). This was well before 911, and it made me acutely uncomfortable.

(As for what we go through now while traveling, I tolerate it because I have to.)

Dogs and nature abhor a vacuum.
http://geaugadoggy.wordpress.com
I didn't read this whole thread yet, but I think no, just because it's implying something really negative. That being said, I think that welfare should come in the form of a "card" not a cheque, and it should be only accepted at certain spots (Targets, Walmarts, etc.) and not for purchases or tobacco or alcohol. I also think the government should be able to track where it's used if they'd like to do a random check.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
I think you're being pretty aggressive in your responses, SL. Are you sure you don't have an agenda?
Originally Posted by claudine19
I'm just trying to cut thru the hyperbole and party-line rhetoric (which is so annoying to me) and understand how ppl really feel and why?

But all the time, it's all these PC sound bytes and the feeling that ppl are scared to say the wrong thing lest they be labeled some kind of way.

Just trying to have a real conversation.

I will give up now. LOL

eta - some ppl did respond w/ honest, responsive answers and I appreciate that.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I agree, I read the thread and thought "WHAT is her problem..?!"
NetG likes this.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
Given what Fifi has said, why isn't there a system in which there are investigators who check up on the recipients? I receive LTD insurance payments because of my disability and you can bet investigators check up on me. Test those when there is a suspicion of illegal drug use. That would seem to be the best use of the monies if you are to drug test, instead of painting everyone with the same broad brush.
murrrcat likes this.

texture - medium/fine, porosity - low/normal, elasticity - normal
co-wash - NaturelleGrow Coconut Water or Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm Bark & Blue Malva Cleansing Conditioners
LI - KCKT mixed w/ SM C & H Curl & Style Milk
DC - NG Mango & Coconut H2O or Chamomile/Brdck Root
Gel - SM souffle (winter), KCCC (summer) or CR Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel (year round)
Sealers - Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado butter, Aloe butter
Ayurvedic treatments - Jamila Henna, Sukesh, Aloe Vera Powder, Hibiscus Powder
.




My answer is no. Unless the drug-testing is random and conducted under direct observation (read: more expensive), it's pointless. Do you know how easy it is to find ways to pass a drug test? Just google it, there's a whole market devoted to this.

Also, drug-testing is incredibly intrusive for anyone. You can tell so much more about someone through a urine analysis than just their drug status. Personally, I don't want my employer (or the government) knowing my pregnancy status or anything about physical or medical conditions I might have or am genetically pre-disposed to. If there is reason to suspect someone is abusing drugs (i.e. prior drug conviction), then drug-testing makes sense. Otherwise, for the general population? No.

If we're going to take money away from people in need to compensate for those who may abuse the system, I would much rather see it directed to subsidized addiction rehab and recovery services. Just sayin.
naturally 3b/3c

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. ~ Rumi
SL5000, I get what you're saying now about employment vs. social safety net programs.

But even amongst poverty reduction programs, it seems like this is singling out welfare recipients because they're seen as lazy and good-for-nothing. Why aren't people proposing drug testing to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, where (I believe) more money is paid out than for welfare benefits?

But this is really my reason for answering "no":
WELFARE DRUG TEST COSTS MORE MONEY THAN IT SAVES
ETA: the link didn't post, but I was trying to quote Springcurl above.
Originally Posted by sarah42
So the bottom line is not do something bc it costs more money than it saves?
(That would sort of be an argument against all forms of welfare, wouldn't it?)

What if there are ppl who are legitimately wasting their lives and harming their children and eroding the fabric of society bc of drugs? We taxpayers are suppying their drugs?

Society doesn't have an interest in trying to address this?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000

My thoughts are that even if there is a social benefit to people not doing drugs, drug testing would just seem like a punitive measure against people receiving public assistance. Should we require, I don't know, parenting or financial management classes too? Yes, I know that drugs are illegal and being a crappy parent or bad with money is not, but those are issues that could also harm children and erode the fabric of society. I just feel uncomfortable with the idea that if people are receiving public assistance, the government gets to dictate their lives.

Also, I don't have personal experience with drug addiction, but I've worked with people in a drug rehab halfway house type of place. From what I've seen, drug addiction is really hard to overcome. Even the clients who want to change have a really hard time with it and often relapse. Addicts who don't want to change just won't, and I don't think we can help them unless they choose it for themselves.
And drug testing welfare recipients has NEVER been about trying to help them and only been about not giving them welfare if they test positive.
NetG likes this.


Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



I didn't read this whole thread yet, but I think no, just because it's implying something really negative. That being said, I think that welfare should come in the form of a "card" not a cheque, and it should be only accepted at certain spots (Targets, Walmarts, etc.) and not for purchases or tobacco or alcohol. I also think the government should be able to track where it's used if they'd like to do a random check.
Originally Posted by Narnia
I liked this idea but then I realized it would just create a black market for these cards. Person X would pay $20 cash for a $25 card, and the person wanting the drugs would still get his money.

I personally don't think drug testing would necessarily be cost effective.
3b/c
Also, what kind of drug testing would be most cost effective? I'm thinking urine analysis.

You can smoke crack on Monday and drop clean the following week. Or you could have smoked weed 3 mos ago and still drop dirty today. UAs are not as reliable as people think.
Originally Posted by Po
Let's do urine, hair, skin, stool, blood, internal organs, cavity search, anywhere else we might be able to catch the pot smoking, crack smoking, heroine shooting poor people on welfare. They all use you know.

Sent from my PC36100 using CurlTalk App
Originally Posted by Kilajo
Please. We are trying to have a mature and respectful conversation.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Ha! It's called a joke. But yea, your first comment to me was quite respectful.

I hesitate to think that most of the people that are taking significant enough amounts of drugs to be eroding the fabric of society simultaneously have their crap together enough to apply for assistance programs.

Sure, there probably are some. But I would venture to guess that most of the people wasting their welfare money are not wasting it on drugs. Not that it makes their misuse of money acceptable - just that there are probably better ways than drug testing to help people to use their money properly.
Originally Posted by cmb4314

If that's your personal interest. OK. But that is totally outside the scope of my question. I wasn't asking how to help ppl develop better money management skills.

I was asking specifically about the issue of drug testing.

Is it fair, effective, efficacious, feasible, reccommendable, evidence-based, etc. Why or why not?

If I am on welfare and I am addicted to drugs, what better way to help me than to identify my problem and compell me to get treatment? Or will other things help me more?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
It looks like cmb answered your question. She doesn't think drug testing is practical because most drug addicts don't receive benefits and most people "wasting" their benefits would test negative for a drug test.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
Which is what happened with Florida. They found that there wasn't a significant amount of drug users receiving welfare. They wasted a lot of tax payers' money to do the tests.
If it's not economically sound, then it's being proposed for moral reasons, which is a slippery slope, imo.
Originally Posted by claudine19
Definitely slippery.

But is it any different than preventing food stamps (SNAP) and WIC Checks from being used to buy alcohol or tobacco?

I don't think the concept public assistance is necessarily one of economic soundness. More like functional necessity?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Drug testing for benefits is different because it is invasive and is a bigger violation of privacy. Not to mention that the tests are not perfect.

No, don't test.
I didn't read this whole thread yet, but I think no, just because it's implying something really negative. That being said, I think that welfare should come in the form of a "card" not a cheque, and it should be only accepted at certain spots (Targets, Walmarts, etc.) and not for purchases or tobacco or alcohol. I also think the government should be able to track where it's used if they'd like to do a random check.
Originally Posted by Narnia
I liked this idea but then I realized it would just create a black market for these cards. Person X would pay $20 cash for a $25 card, and the person wanting the drugs would still get his money.

I personally don't think drug testing would necessarily be cost effective.
Originally Posted by munchkin
Not in the long run though. When someone is dispensed a debit card, and they want to keep selling it over and over there's gonna be a red flag on that person who keeps "losing" their card.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
I didn't read this whole thread yet, but I think no, just because it's implying something really negative. That being said, I think that welfare should come in the form of a "card" not a cheque, and it should be only accepted at certain spots (Targets, Walmarts, etc.) and not for purchases or tobacco or alcohol. I also think the government should be able to track where it's used if they'd like to do a random check.
Originally Posted by Narnia
Many places here use EBT cards now. It's like a debit. It's cut back on things I used to frequently see in the 80's and 90's, but there have been other issues. I think the Post did a piece about cards being used at ATM's in strip clubs, porn stores, bars, etc.. not too long ago. I saw a heading about it, but did not get to read it.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I think you're being pretty aggressive in your responses, SL. Are you sure you don't have an agenda?
Originally Posted by claudine19
I'm just trying to cut thru the hyperbole and party-line rhetoric (which is so annoying to me) and understand how ppl really feel and why?

But all the time, it's all these PC sound bytes and the feeling that ppl are scared to say the wrong thing lest they be labeled some kind of way.

Just trying to have a real conversation.

I will give up now. LOL

eta - some ppl did respond w/ honest, responsive answers and I appreciate that.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I agree, I read the thread and thought "WHAT is her problem..?!"
Originally Posted by Narnia
And, here I am trying to figure out what yours is???
These kind of policy proposals are always based on meta-narratives about the behavior of certain groups. The drug war is based on the implicit assumption that minorities are more likely to consume illegal substances than Caucasian, even though every study proves this is false: blacks, Latinos and whites are equally likely to use drugs. But this inconvenient fact has not prevented the disproportionate arrest, conviction and incarceration of blacks and Latinos.

This discussion of welfare recipients on drugs is based on the same flawed, self-serving beliefs. There is no evidence demonstrating a significant tendency among people on TANF et al to use illegal drugs, yet politicians proceed as if there is an absolute certainty that taxpayers' hard earned money is being squandered by lazy, shiftless welfare queens.

This reminds me of the push to implement voter ID laws. Shark attacks are more common than voter fraud, yet politicians and certain media outlets continue to promote the myth that poor and minority voters are stealing elections. Sadly, there's still a lot of political upside in exploiting prejudices and resentments.

I'm just trying to cut thru the hyperbole and party-line rhetoric (which is so annoying to me) and understand how ppl really feel and why?

But all the time, it's all these PC sound bytes and the feeling that ppl are scared to say the wrong thing lest they be labeled some kind of way.

Just trying to have a real conversation.

I will give up now. LOL

eta - some ppl did respond w/ honest, responsive answers and I appreciate that.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I agree, I read the thread and thought "WHAT is her problem..?!"
Originally Posted by Narnia
And, here I am trying to figure out what yours is???
Originally Posted by Kilajo
You can't be serious. I didn't realize the suggestion of gift cards for welfare meant I had a huge problem. Maybe re-read and redirect appropriately.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Last edited by Narnia; 01-31-2013 at 07:06 PM.

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com