Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

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There are suggestion that welfare recipients need to be drug tested, to make sure that taxpayers are not paying for their drug habits. Why would you want to give government benefits to someone who may, either directly or indirectly use the benefits to support their drug habit? Why can’t we drug test welfare recipients? Last year, Utah Republicans passed and enacted a law that mandated drug testing for welfare recipients. Many people argue that “forcing the welfare recipient to concede to waive their rights to random drug testing is unconstitutional and could be considered, blackmail.”(Drug Testing American Civil Liberties Union). Then one should ask why is it okay to require people to consent to drug testing for many types of occupations such as fire departments, police departments, emergency medical departments and the U.S. military? Under the new law, people applying for Utah’s Family Employment Program (FEP) — part of the federally funded Temporary Aid For Needy Families (TANF) — must take the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory or SASSI test, a tool that identifies individuals who have a high probability of addictive behavior. Each SASSI costs One dollar and twenty five cents— totaling Five thousand, nine hundred twelve dollars and fifty cents for four thousand, seven hundred thirty applicants. The actual drug testing cost twenty five thousand, six hundred fifty-four for a combined total of thirty one thousand, five hundred sixty-six dollars and fifty cents. Some two hundred forty-seven high-probability applicants failed to comply with requirements and were barred from reapplying for aid for ninety days, DWS Public Information Officer Nic Dunn said. Because the average three-person household receives four hun... ... middle of paper ... ...e wisely used and not funding a drug user's next hit. Preventing welfare recipients from engaging in drug use that creates a cycle of dependency for themselves and their families is an admirable cause. Works Cited “Drug Testing.” American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York NY 1004. Web.2011US The Salt Lake Tribune, Drug screening of welfare applicants is a mixed bag, First Published Sep 05 2013 02:09 pm • Last Updated Sep 06 2013 Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, and CATO Institute. September 10, 2013. Vertuno, Jim. “Lance Armstrong Stripped of Seven Tour de France titles Over Doping.” Welfare and work: taxing hard-up Americans, Austell, Georgia and Boston, Massachusetts, September 7, 2013. “Employee Drug Testing Rights.” Detox For Less.513 Ventures LLC Cincinnati, Oh Web. 2005

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