Drug Testing Before A Welfare/Unemployment Check


In a bid to drastically decrease the number of welfare rolls originating from the government and to make it increasingly difficult for struggling people and families to access government benefits, legislators and GOP governors have pushed mandatory laws that require applicants to take and pass drug tests. Not only do applicants of welfare have to take and pass these tests, they actually have to foot the bills for the tests, and will only be reimbursed by the government when they pass the test. After coming up with this law, the House of Representatives are thinking of making their vote and pushing to reauthorize insurance for unemployment dependent on a mandatory requirement for drug testing. The bill would require all the claimants of unemployment insurance to take and pass a drug test if they are identifies in the first screening tests as being possible drug users (Diamond 1).  This essay, therefore, will take a stand arguing for the argument that people should take and pass a drug test before receiving government- sponsored welfare funds and unemployment checks or insurance.

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There are numerous reasons as to why this article takes this stand. According to Nathan Deal, the Georgia governor, the state is doing the right thing requiring welfare applicants to pass drug tests. With the high number of individuals receiving welfare and unemployment benefits, the idea of entertaining drug tests on applicants before receiving any public funds is attractive. This is because this measure would make sure that future employees are ready for the field of work because numerous employers usually require drug tests to be carried out before handing out jobs. If an employer finds out that a potential employee is clean then they would be, more willing to offer them work (Fairley 1).

The governor from Georgia is not the only one in favor of the proposed law. Other people on the streets and social networks have expressed their opinions on the issue and have indicated that they are in agreement with what is being proposed by the lawmakers. One reason why many supporters of the legislation want the law to be practiced is that they feel that most unemployed individuals are more likely to use drugs than employed people are. Chemung Schuyler Steuben Workforce New York is a nonprofit organization job-training agency that deals with unemployed individuals. The agency argues that more than fifty percent of the workers in the area fail drug testing for pre- employment purposes. The agency added that the study only included a highly narrow type of employees (Johnson 1).

In the meantime, another survey carried out by the government called the national Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2010, which indicated that people who were unemployed were twice more likely to abuse drugs and other substances than those people who were permanent holders of a job. According to this survey, employed individuals were found to use drugs and other abusive substances 8.4 percent of the time when compared to not less than 17.5 percent of the time unemployed individuals abuse drugs and other substances (Johnson 1). This is a clear indication that there is a need for taking drug tests before receiving welfare and unemployment funds.

The essentiality of introducing this law is not only about protecting the government and public funds from being used in inappropriate ways, but it also has to do with protecting the welfare of the concerned individuals. Some states are considering implementing this mandatory drug-testing legislature for the benefit of the welfare recipients. Individuals in favor of this test argue that mandatory drug testing will be critical in helping those individuals with drug problems and those who need treatment and counseling to get rid of their addiction. In addition to helping, these individuals become better members of the society, the legislature will also help them become more qualified to keep and obtain better jobs. This is because more employers now are doing the same tests, which will disqualify a candidate immediately once they do not pass. As it follows, unlike what opponents of the legislature are arguing the law is extremely critical to the applicants as it prepares them for employment and rids them of addiction (Diamond 1).

The opponents of the law are basing their arguments on humanitarian grounds arguing that the legislature will be going against laws of humanity and compassion, and that the tests and the associated services will be extremely expensive, as they will require more money for follow-up services. However, there is better argument in requiring this test because as the studies show, more people who are unemployed and those who depend on welfare are more likely to depend on drugs than other individuals who have a more secure life. Giving money to such individuals would only lead to more l wastage of money because the state will be funding drug use most of the time (Diamond 1). These are the reasons why the paper takes a stand that people should take and pass a drug test before receiving government- sponsored welfare funds and unemployment checks or insurance.


Works cited

Diamond, Marie. ‘House Republicans May Mandate Drug Testing As Condition of Continuing    Unemployment Benefits’. Think Process Justice. Web. 12 March 2012.

Fairley, Jessica. ‘Drug testing for Unemployment and Welfare benefits.’ Fox31Online. Web. 12   March 2012.

Johnson, James. ‘GOP Wants Mandatory Drug Testing for Unemployed’. The Inquisitr. Web. 12 March 2012.


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