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Welfare recipients and drug testing - Research Paper Example

Almost two dozen states are considering enacting bills that require individuals applying for or receiving public benefits to undergo drug testing. These states have made it tough for recipients who receive welfare and food stamps. According to Newell (2011), welfare reform has transformed from cash assistance for the poor to a work-focused temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The author further argues that this has made the issue of substance abuse a periodic policy and a programmatic concern. There have been vigorous debates focusing on welfare policy with respect to people with drug felony convictions. This has made drug tests a form of admissibility for the program. The prevalence of drug abuse among welfare recipients is high with rates between 4 and 37 percent (Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Substance abuse has affected the performance of several TANF recipients which has made policy makers pass make laws that make testing mandatory. Drugs reduce the performance of welfare recipients and have been linked to unemployment, child abuse and neglect. Drug testing among welfare recipients is a reasonable practice that should be conducted in all states in the country (Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Giving welfare to individuals who may either directly or indirectly get involved in substance abuse is an act of encouraging drug use. Some of the recipients are former drug addicts, and the moral obligation of TANF is to prevent them from harming themselves or others (Macdonald, et al. 2001).

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Almost two dozen states are considering enacting bills that require individuals applying for or receiving public benefits to undergo drug testing. These states have made it tough for recipients who receive welfare and food stamps…
Welfare recipients and drug testing
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