Will Government Programs Require Drug Testing?
The argument for the new drug tests is that people need to spend their money wisely and they may need to be taught this by being unable to get handouts or help from the government. By performing drug tests before people can get these government assistance programs, they are hoping to stimulate health and more solid financial choices for people. The problem some say is that many people won’t ask for help and this will increase already desperate situations. At times, these people that are being denied may need the money the most.
One fact is that these programs are created for people who need help. However, these programs are also created to assist people in getting out of desperate or unfortunate situations. If people are squandering their health and money on illegal substances, then perhaps these aren’t the appropriate programs to get them help. The fact remains that many jobs require drug testing so why not impose it on these programs as well.
Right now we probably all know someone out of work or relying on government programs when they would otherwise not have asked for help. Would drug testing measures slow down an already slow process. In the state of Washington the wait time for issue resolutions is 6-8 weeks. That is a long time to wait for benefits resolution when unemployment money is paying for the mortgage and electricity. Drug testing may slow down these systems as the wait time for results may be significant with the volume of testing that would need to be done.
Lawmakers are trying to create a system to help people. However the balance comes by creating rules so that we aren’t simply enabling people to remain on welfare or unemployment without a true purpose. The unfortunate reality is that people will always abuse the system. Imposing tests like this on people might make them start to understand the true use of the system and control those people that are trying to abuse the system.
There is a struggle for balance with any government assistance program. Would drug testing solve all our problems? Probably not – but it might be a way to limit those that are abusing the program and using it for ways other than what they are intended. We have both drug and alcohol testing happening across society in schools and for employment. It should not surprise us that it would spread to areas in the government as well. With tax dollars funding these programs we deserve to make sure that they are being spent wisely and given to true people in need. This may be just one step on a journey to make programs more controlled. However, in the end, hopefully it will benefit those taking advantage of the programs and those whose taxes fund them.