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The state has an obligation to offer assistance to anyone who needs it. However, there have been debates on whether people should undergo drug testing before receiving welfare. On one hand, this is seen as unjust to people who are found to have drugs in their system. Just because they use or have used drugs, it does not mean that they do not have needs that the state could help them fulfill. On the other hand, the state would be choosing to help people who may be more productive in the society so that they can be independent and be able to care for their own needs. These state aids include food stamps and medical assistance (Brammer 2011). Drug tests should be done to people before they receive any aid because the aid will go to people who will make good use of it and will most likely be able to cater to their own needs too. If this happens, the society will grow and be more economically stable. The effects of a stable society will trickle down to the drug users making their lives better too.
There is an opposition to the policy of mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. It has been argued that drug testing is a gross invasion of privacy for the people who have to go through it. Though an individual's health information should be private, it ceases to be so when the information directly affects how the person carries themselves out in a particular situation. Drug testing would be a good idea because then the state would know who are most likely to waste the resources and those that will amount to something more than they were. Welfare is supposed to make people's lives better and failure to do so would make the policy obsolete. Therefore, it would make more sense to give welfare to a person who needs it and will make good use of it, than to give it to a person who needs it and will waste it (Brammer 2011).
People are being encouraged to get clean if they want to receive anything from the state. However, some view this as some kind of condition to receiving state aid. Though it is a condition, it serves the purpose of benefitting those it has been imposed on. There will always be people in need of assistance and this condition for getting help will help more of them get clean. This will help more people to get healthier and, to be able to establish a stable financial footing for themselves in the long run (Brammer 2011).
In addition, most businesses and employers are already testing their interviewees and employees for drugs before they hire them or to find out if they are functioning in their full capacity. Drug testing may be viewed as stepping on people who are already down. It may seem so to some people but, it is actually making conditions better for them. If, say, a drug user reforms and tests negative then starts receiving welfare. Everyone who knows that they are receiving welfare will automatically know that they are clean. It makes matters easier for them especially if they go looking for a job (Brammer 2011). If the company or employer asks for details and sees that they are on welfare, they will deduce that the person is not using drugs and will be more receptive towards their hiring.
It is important for the state to fulfill its obligation of helping those in need. Helping people is a multifaceted concept and does not involve only a single line of action. Welfare for drug users is a good idea which will only be effective for a short period of time. Long term effectiveness would come from them getting healthier and clean. In the case of giving welfare in the form of money, the results may be very disappointing. They may use the money to buy more drugs in which case the state will have helped them get more drugs. However if the state enforces the condition of getting clean in order to get welfare, the change that will happen in those who decide to get clean will be long term and life changing.
Children from families who fail to receive welfare for testing positive for drugs would be taken care of. There have been concerns about where parents would get welfare to feed and care for their children. In the first place, children living in families where their care providers are drug users are already not getting the care they need. By enforcing the condition of being clean, these parents might opt to become clean benefiting the children because they will be in an environment that is suitable for their development. Also, a Kentucky lawmaker says that the bill would contain information on provision s that will be made for these children if their parents have to leave (Brammer 2011). Though this proposal is from Kentucky, if adopted, it will benefit people from other states too.
Drug testing is not free and concerns have been raised about the amount of money it would take to test all welfare recipients. The amounts are in the billions. However, though it will be costly to do this, the long term benefits are worth the expenditure. First off, an economy with less drug users will prosper because there will be higher productiveness in the population. Also, since their minds will be somewhat clearer, more innovations can be made that will make the society even more productive (Brammer 2011). Also, since more money will be going back to the economic circle rather than the drug one, price rates of items will go down and this will pull more people from being dependent on welfare.
Welfare is a right for everyone which is catered for by the taxes that people pay. It is moral for people who need assistance to be helped. It is also moral to protect people's funds and to give them value for their money. In the case of people who reform and stop using drugs; they will most likely get into employment of some kind and contribute to the welfare of the society as the society is contributing to theirs. Children from the families of drug users need to receive the welfare they deserve. If a drug addicted parent gets the welfare money, it is a sure assumption that the children will not get what they deserve. If the problem is out of the equation, the children will reap more benefits.
Random drug testing should be done once in a while to keep people in shape and to encourage good use of state resources. A stable society will see to the needs of its people better than a society on the brink of downfall (Brammer 2011). The stability is not only contributed by financial gain but also by an able population, a healthy population and a productive population. Drugs are not the only source of problems in a society but they contribute a lot. An almost drug free society is what many people dream of their society's being. Drug testing for welfare recipients is not only an effective way to ensure that state resources are used wisely, but also a good tool for encouraging change in a society.