Another reason for mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients is that it is fair. People who are working have to take a drug test in order to conform to the employee standards of the company that they work for. Many companies mandate drug tests as a condition of employment. Many colleges require physicals (including drug tests) before a student begins his or her studies at that institution. The military performs drug tests. Professional sports teams perform drug tests. Throughout our lives, the vast majority of people are required to take a drug test at one time or another for various reasons, in order to ensure that they are complying with the law. Welfare recipients should be held to the same standard as everybody else in this regard.
This is a very tough issue. Tensions will be high on both sides. I thoroughly respect and understand the opinion of the other side, that welfare recipients should not be subjugated to drug tests. While I respect their point of view, I humbly contend that they are wrong in this regard. In order to ensure the social contract between those being provided for and those doing the providing is not broken, each side must trust the other. Welfare recipients must trust that they will be taken care of when they need it, and those who pay for that care must trust that it is necessary and that it is, above all, temporary. Drug tests could go a long way to ensure that this social contract remains strong.
The Cons of Drug Testing Welfare Recipients
Finally, According to Dr. Pollack of the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, psychiatric disorders (most notably depression and PTSD) are more prevalent amongst welfare recipients than drug use, though he also reports that 20% of welfare recipients admit to recent use of illicit drugs. Mandatory testing for welfare recipients, not just drug testing but also psychiatric and medical testing, could allow for those in need to receive proper medical care in order to help them with any medical conditions that they are dealing with and allow them to reenter the workforce more quickly upon recovery. Mandatory testing would not only hold welfare recipients to the same standard as everybody else, but it also would perform a critical service as a means of assistance for those suffering from psychiatric disorders, medical disorders, and/or abuse problems.