Essays On Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

So, again, welfare recipients used drugs less than everyone else.” Now we’re merely at one-quarter of the drug use rate people with good methodologies find. 7000 welfare users did this, but 1600 declined to do so – numbers that were not mentioned in most of the pieces above.Opponents of the program say that maybe those 1600 people could not find drug testing centers near them, or couldn’t afford to pay for the tests even with the promise of reimbursement later, or something like that.

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I am sure that some of them did indeed decline for reasons like those.

But also, people on welfare don’t have very much money [citation needed].

Reverb Press: Another GOP Fail: 0.2% Of Tennessee Welfare Recipients Found To Use Illegal Drugs. According to legitimate research in this area, poor people use as many drugs as anyone else and probably more.

Mommyish: Results Of State Drug Testing Prove Gross Assumptions About Welfare Applicants Are Wrong. These stories all make the point that we have many stereotypes about the poor, and one such stereotype is that the use lots of drugs, but in fact these sorts of welfare programs find them to use fewer drugs than the general population, and therefore we should stop being so prejudiced. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that illegal drug use was slightly higher in families on government assistance (9.6%) than families not on government assistance (6.8%).

That in turn would suggest that of the 1600 who refused testing, about 685 were drug users – 40% or so.

That would imply that about 80% of drug users versus about 12% of nonusers refused testing. Most welfare users want to keep their benefits, so the majority will agree to testing, but a few will inevitably fall through the cracks because they can’t reach a testing center or because they have moral objections to the tests.

We have 8600 welfare recipients, so we would expect 860 drug users.

Of the 7000 who agreed to testing, we know that 2.5% are drug users – that’s 175 people.

Or at least that is what I am led to believe by articles like Mic’s A Shocking Thing Happened When Tennesee Decided To Drug Test Its Welfare Recipients, which describes said shocking thing as: 1 out of 812 applicants tested positive for drugs. As Think Progress notes, that means that just 0.12% of all people applying for cash assistance in Tennessee have tested positive for drugs, compared to the 8% who have reported using drugs in the past month among the state’s general population.

If you assume the four people who refused were on drugs, it’s still a paltry 0.61%.


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