Ethical Situation: Welfare Recipient Drug Testing?

  1. Hey everyone!

    I'm a pre-nursing student in Virginia. I recently wrote an essay for a class on the ethics of drug testing, and there was one issue I tossed around in writing that I've seen brought up before. It's a divisive one, and I've heard some very unexpected answers from a wide range of people.

    I'm curious to hear the opinions of nurses on the matter (opinions, not flames please! ). The question is this: Given that many employees in the United States are compelled to take random drug screens, should welfare recipients have to undergo the same in order to keep their benefits?
  2. 133 Comments

  3. by   PAERRN20
    I think so! I just read an article where some state employees are not being paid because of an unapproved budget. However, welfare recipients are still receiving their checks as always. So people who work for the state don't get paid, but those who don't work do! Not fair!

    I think there are a lot of issues with the welfare system. If nurse, doctors, teachers, etc- basically anyone who works with the public- gets drug test, then I think those whose receive public assistance should be drug tested. I know there are some privacy issues with drug testing. I get that. But if you can depend on everyone's tax dollars to survive, then you should not being using illegal substances. Period.
  4. by   kcochrane
    Yep! Not only did I have to pass a drug test to get a job, I had to pass one to VOLUNTEER for the military. And at any time with both, I can be requested to take another to keep that job.

    But I think there should be options, i.e. rehab or some other help for those testing positive.
  5. by   Castymiss
    Yes, all welfare recipients should be drug tested. That included all who are getting SSI. Medi-cal/Medicare benefits. SO many abuse drugs on SSI.
  6. by   HM2VikingRN
    No.....Drug abuse/dependence is a disease. We should be offering treatment and support to help them break the habit.

    I really don't think that we want to increase the problems of homelessness and property crimes in our society.
  7. by   Chapis
    this is my opinion;

    like alot of folks in this state, i have a job. i work, they pay me. i pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. in order to get that paycheck, i am required to pass a random urine test with which i have no problem. what i do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.
    shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because i have to pass one to ear it for them? please understand, i have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. i do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their @$$, doing drugs, while i work. . . can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

    i guess we could title that program, "urine or you're out"

    i received this as an email, and i agree with it 100%!
  8. by   Castymiss
    Maybe we need MORE prisons then to house them. We all know that drug rehab is a complete failure. Only when someone wants to stop abusing drugs will they do so. If they do a drug screen and its dirty. NO more welfare or SSI. Build more shelters for them in YOUR about that. You can help them kick their habit.
  9. by   8jimi8ICURN
    If you depend on the rest of us to gather your food and pay for your house, then you at least owe us the decency of not wasting that money on drugs. You owe us the decency of not trading in those vouchers that we give you for your babies, for drugs.

    I am the last person to voluntarily give away my right to privacy; however i am also the last person you will see holding my hand out to suckle at the government teat.

    If you can score drugs, you can do it on your dime. I would definitely agree with mandatory random testing. Get this, I also think that they should pay for their drug tests too.

    Sorry, if there was no society to lean on, you can bet these people would be scrambling around like the rest of us trying to survive.

    I seem somehow, to remember reading a new story that claimed it actually made more economic sense for people on welfare to stay unemployed and have MORE children, than for them to get a job.
  10. by   Castymiss
    I know a woman who raised 3 children all on OUR tax money. She never worked, never wanted to work and said she got more money from welfare to just sit on her butt and stay home. Horrible. Drug test of NO money. This person I know has abused drugs since BEFORE any of her 3 kids were born. I also agree if our government would stop GIVING away money and food stamps, they would all have to make it somehow...Maybe they might even stop having having so many children they can't take care of. hmmm what an interesting thought.
  11. by   sugaNspice
    Quote from Castymiss
    Yes, all welfare recipients should be drug tested. That included all who are getting SSI. Medi-cal/Medicare benefits. SO many abuse drugs on SSI.
    SSI is not welfare, it is benefits that people earned through their many years as a working tax paying citizen, and they should be entitled to these funds regardless of what they choose to do with it. No, i dont agree that these funds should be used for this purpose, but it is their money that they earned and they are entitled to do whatever they like with these funds. If they were to be denied their owned hard earned money because of what they chose to do with it, then we should deny everyone a paycheck who uses their money for unconventional uses...including those who chose to gamble, play lottery, drink alcohol, flee child support, and a host of other things.

    I'm only speaking in reference to the SSI, and this is just my opinion.
  12. by   8jimi8ICURN
    Right, we are talking about welfare, not SSI.
  13. by   Lacie
    I agree, I know there is even discussion of performing drug screens in order to get unemployment benefits also. Most places also give you one if you are injuried at work in order to get worker's compensation benefits. I'm adopted and came from one of "those" families who lived and still live off the welfare system and none of them ever worked a day in thier life. I am the oldest out of 10 and fortunately was adopted by a wonderful set of parents (my aunt). I have always known my biological family and see the vicious cycle as all the other 9 siblings and thier children and childrens children are still on welfare. Now consider I am 52 years old. This essentially means my biological family has been on the welfare system most of my life!! I am the only one who graduated high school much less went to college and had to go to the military to do that. My youngest sibling is a crack addict, another was in the foster home system until 18 then sent back to our biological mom. She is also a drug addict and lets just say earns money in other ways. My biological mom and her husband divorced while she collects yet he owns a towing business in another sons name. My 2 brothers are both alcoholics and get SSI in addition to the welfare. Live with thier girlfriends who also have children and on the welfare system yet manage to get their liqour, cigarettes and drugs daily. Go figure. Yes they should drug screen among other things I see my money that I work for going down the drain to support a vicious cycle over and over.
  14. by   300g
    We have to take a drug test to make the money, they should have to take a drug test to get the money.

    I also propose that recipients of welfare should receive a Depo Provera shot in order to pick up their check.