Could it be possible that welfare is a means through which substance users finance their drug problem? This question pops in my mind every time I discuss the issue of substance use among welfare recipients. The drug screening debate has lasted for decades with proponents citing the need to reduce costs and to improve the lives of the recipients. A drug test of a welfare recipient is an essential exercise that should be encouraged as it helps substance abusers to change and save public money.
This belief signifies that I care about an equitable but fair society. I say this because I care about people who need welfare support. A majority of the recipients also need psychological and medical assistance. Statistical evidence shows that more welfare recipients have drug use problems compared to the general public. According to Lin (2018), about 10% of the patients who received substance-related treatment between 1992 and 2005 relied on public assistance. These are people who received treatment for substance use during the period of the study. Drug testing welfare recipients will help reduce welfare payout. Cutting the number of substance users among welfare recipients could save the public lots of money (Covert & Israel, 2015). But to do so, the government must establish the prevalence of substance use among welfare recipients. Drug testing will help highlight the depth of the problem and the crafting of solutions. By knowing the extent of the problem, policymakers will be able to develop solutions. Crafting solutions will create a way to help welfare substance users. Statistical evidence shows that 50% of welfare recipients have had an interaction with substance use.
Welfare recipients have a high risk of engaging in drug use. According to Brookfield (2017), drug use is 50% more common in welfare recipient households as compared to the general public. Such statistics indicate that welfare could be funding substance use. However, only screening of the recipients could paint an accurate picture of the situation. For decades, the cost of welfare has been on the rise leading to the discussion concerning ways to reduce it. Statistics indicate that some of the welfare money ends up in drug use. Providing medical and psychological assistance to the substance users under welfare could reduce the amount of money diverted to drugs. Though the amount of welfare money that ends up in drugs purchases is unclear, it is possible to estimate figures using statistics. By understanding the drug problem and its depth among welfare recipients, it becomes possible to determine the cost of maintaining it. To understand the substance use problem, data collection is inevitable. Collecting data about substance abusers among welfare recipient is a means to understanding and solving the poverty problem. Without a clear picture of the extent of the problem, it is difficult to create a solution. In this case, there are two significant problems. One is the substance use problem and the other the misuse of welfare money in drug purchase. Since it is almost impossible to establish the exact amount of welfare money that goes to drug use, eliminating the link between users and welfare is the only feasible solution. By screening welfare recipients, authorities can establish the exact number of recipients that use drugs. Hence, screening can reveal the number of people that misuse welfare money to purchase drugs.
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