Drug Testing Research Paper

Words: 1005
Pages: 5

Final Research Paper
Should Drug Testing Be Required to Receive Welfare
Adam Saville
ITT Technical Institute
November 6, 2015
Research Methods
Dr. Thorman

Should Drug Testing Be Required to Receive Welfare
At least thirteen states have passed legislation regarding drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah.) Some apply to all applicants; others include specific language that there is a reason to believe the person is engaging in illegal drug activity or has a substance use disorder; others require a specific screening process. (Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients
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While only a small fraction of low income families receiving cash assistance under the TANF suffer from these problems, addressing these issues is a legitimate goal for the TANF program. In recognition of this fact, states have developed a range of approaches to identify TANF recipients who abuse alcohol or other drugs and refer them to appropriate treatment services. (TANF Policy Brief, 2013) One such method seen so far has been mandatory testing of all applicants for welfare, which many people feel that it violates the fourth amendment, unreasonable search by the government, and is …show more content…
Random or widespread drug testing is an inefficient use of taxpayer money. Testing should be limited to cases where agencies have a specific reason to believe a client is using drugs, or where the client has acknowledged drug use and agreed to participate in a treatment program. (TANF Policy Brief, 2013) Chemical tests do no always identify substance abuse problems. Currently the common way to test for drugs is a simple urine test, which will not test for abuse, but only the presence of a particular type of substance. This can be a problem because someone that tests positive for drug abuse might only be an occasional user and not a drug abuser, in which they use the drug all the time, compared to just once in a while, and not when they might be in need of cash assistance to support their family. Also urine tests do not test for alcohol, which is more commonly abused than any other drug in existence. Finally when it comes to the costs to administer said drug tests, the screening cost alone can be a hindrance to the people because by the time someone has applied for welfare, they are already in a tight place when it comes to money and they may not be able to afford the upfront cost of a drug test. On the other hand in the state of Florida, when someone passes the test, they have to reimburse the person for the cost of the