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My Thoughts on Welfare Drug Testing

Apparently, FL Gov Rick Scott tried to justify the mandatory drug tests on welfare recipients by saying it helps the kids. 

I love how the “job creators” think they know everything. Truly, it tickles my cortex. Prepare for my rant.

Hey, Rick Scott, you want to help the kids? Then it’s all about the follow through. Forcing druggies to shy away from welfare out of fear of being reported to DCF DOESN’T HELP THE KIDS.  Take it from someone who PERSONALLY was raised (until age 12) by a drug-addict—the less money there is, the less money there is for the kids. If a drug addict has $500 and it costs $500 to feed the kids for a month and $500 to do drugs, trust me, those kids AREN’T EATING.

And what’s worse is that nobody will know it until a neighbor notices the lights haven’t turned on for two weeks. Hm… are they on vacation? Wait, is that candlelight coming from the bathroom window? Dear God, those poor children…. And they’ll probably leave it at that.

The sad truth is that it is socially taboo to call the cops on suspected bad parents. And if the neighbor won’t do it, you definitely can’t expect the family to stand up and care for those children. Mainly because if this is a serious drug-addict, they’ve already cut contact with most of the family due to their disapproval of the drug abuse. To the drug-addict, communicating with family becomes all about the drug abuse, and they simply don’t like to be reminded of what they are. I.E. Watch the crack addict ease her mind about being called a crack addict by promptly snatching some crack. Unfortunately, in a situation where the family is at odds with a drug-addict parent, people tend to forget the kids. I know this from experience.

Here is my suggestion: If Rick Scott really does want to help the children, he needs to hire on more part-time social workers to check up on the families on welfare. And I mean home visits. I NEVER saw my mom move faster than when DCF called to schedule a visit. The house would go from looking like a landfill (and all of us looking like homeless people) to the house smelling like Lysol and us looking like normal kids. I vividly remember the craziness that would happen the day before a DCF visit. My mom would actually call my family members and everyone would come over to clean up the house and the kids as well. I would thank God for those visits. I know -without a doubt- that following up, in person, with welfare recipients is the best way to get them on track.

And if people speak out “Oh, but that is totally disrespecting their privacy!” to you I say: they are public figures now. Once you get yourself on government/my taxes’ payroll (no matter if you’re a politician, a soldier, or government employee) you decidedly waive your right to privacy IN SO FAR as your reason for the paycheck goes. I demand to know what politicians, public workers, and soldiers are doing during working hours. That’s the whole point of transparency. And welfare recipients get themselves included on that list because they opted to receive government money. The only way they differ is that they don’t have to work any hours to get that money, so in return, they should make themselves available and open to the public’s right to know what they are doing to resolve their issues.

Even people on disability and Medicare have to go through many steps to keep receiving their benefits. I am definitely not arguing the point that Rick Scott made of holding welfare recipients accountable. I just think that it’s insulting, narrow-minded, ignorant, and ineffective to believe that mandatory drug tests will be enough. All welfare recipients should be on some type of rehabilitation course. Period.

That is what I truly recommend for an action-plan to clean up our broken families. Actual CARE, not just an iron fist. Gov Scott is just plain WRONG to think that forcing people to take a drug test will (in any way) help the children. We need to teach parents on welfare proper discipline (for themselves and the children!) if we want to see true empowerment of the lower class (all you smart alecs who say that the rich don’t want to see self empowerment of the lower class—shut it. Let my bleeding heart bleed!)

All in all…

Drug tests are like random and inconsistent discipline. Rebellious children only get more rebellious when mom or dad randomly lay down the law for all of their mistakes.

It takes reasonable and consistent rules and procedures to attain positive and lasting change. Period.

–Edited for clarity on May 5th, 9:00 pm

16 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Welfare Drug Testing

  1. And who will pay for the rehab? Who will pay for this new division to do the house checks? Welfare was created for households that needed help for a short period of time, not to make a living on. Drug users will be drug users weather on welfare or not, same with taking care of their children, … give them food stamps they sell them for money, so how does that help with feeding the kids?

    • I’m actually not suggesting government funded rehab… surprisingly. My vision is to create a sustainable program that puts rehabilitation as the top priority. Drug addicts who can’t hack it… will have to lose their children. That’s what happened to my mom and I’m living proof that it is NOT better to be with a drug addict mother. It is better to take the kids away, and provide a way for the siblings to stay connected.
      I truly agree with you that welfare is meant to be TEMPORARY. The sad truth is that Yusmary and Shaquanda and even Primrose have friends in the welfare department, and don’t have to worry about it ending.
      The rehabilitation program will return the welfare system to what it was intended for: to help people in need. NOT INDEFINITELY and NOT without a way to get them off it.

      • Drug addicts and welfare are two whole different topic, for the welfare I am for the testing, if I have to take a drug test in order to keep my job, why should they be so different,… they are getting a paycheck from us the american people. I could go on about the welfare system, and all the fraud that goes with it, and sorry if your NOT a citizen you should not be able to even apply. As for drug addicts, people in general need to start caring more. There use to be a time where people would stand up when they saw something being done that was wrong, now people turn their head and walk the other way. Humanity is lost in this world, selfishness and greed have taken over. Until people start to stand up for what is right, nothing will ever change

  2. Very true …. I agree with your statement …. But I think people on welfare should be drug tested … Why should others support their habits….? Reality is I’m working on a child Psychatric Unit, and I would say 90 percent of the children there, their parents are involved in drugs… If you can’t care for your children they’re others who will…

    • The thing is, just as you stated, you can TELL when someone is involved with drugs. By initiating a rehabilitation program for ALL welfare users, we can more accurately determine who needs to pass a drug test and who definitely does NOT need to be given a drug test. A first time food stamps user who just lost her job should not have to take a drug test automatically ESPECIALLY if there is no recourse for her after that.I’m not denying that drug tests are valid, but in my experience… you can give someone drug tests everyday (even if it means never seeing their children again), but without a program to go along with the testing, you will never save that poor soul.

  3. If you are going to drug test all who receive government cheks… Test ALL who receive them… welfare recipients, government workers and ellected officials… see how far that bill goes… it’s all good to make rules for people as long as it doesn’t affect them and they don’t have to abide…

    • All very valid points. The only reason it is more imperative to drug test a welfare recipient than other government supported figures is because, of all the groups, welfare recipients are the only ones who don’t have to work to earn their money. If you’re performing your job well, I believe it is totally unnecessary to have to pass a drug test. However, people who are receiving AID money are absolutely not allowed to use it for drugs. Moderate drug use is not going to put someone into a welfare needing state, only complete ABuse will do that. and Jason, you hit the nail on the head. Drug abusers and welfare recipients are INDEED two completely separate groups. And it is with THAT wisdom that I know mandatory drug tests are not enough to get people back to work and to protect the children.

  4. Would any of you be opposed to a slight reinvestment of our budget? In Miami-Dade alone, at least $5 million is dedicated to “stop drug abuse”, yet all the efforts taken by the two groups receiving the funding (a police task force and the drug testing facilities) have not made even A DENT in the drug using population of this city. I believe reinvesting those $5 million into rehabilitation (mentoring, home visits, work training, etc) programs would have a far more lasting impact. Does anyone oppose this viewpoint?

  5. How will you know if the parents are on drugs if you don’t test? Most people in a position to know won’t ‘snitch’ even if the cost of silence is ruining a childs life.

    • I agree with you Jeremiah. But did you know that 1,600 people opted to not take the test? Over 7,000 did take it and only 32 people failed (mostly for pot). But 1,600 people would rather go without welfare than have to take the test and this is considered a SUCCESS by the Florida government. They consider all the money they saved by deterring people to apply for aid to justify their reason for instituting the mandatory tests. To them that’s 1,600 people less to pay, to me that’s possibly 3,000 children who are forever off the government’s radar. =/
      Again, I am not saying that drug testing should not take place, but the way it’s all happening is totally useless. I am arguing Rick’s claim that he’s doing the drug testing “to help the kids” as he stated.

      • I didn’t know that. But of the 1600, how many were parents that had their kids? Not to sound cruel, but I’m less concerned with drug addicts who essentially only hurt themselves than I am with the ones who have kids. And I bet a lot of the people who opted out only did so to give their bodies time to metabolize whatever drugs they were on so they could give a clean test. They don’t have a lot of places to go, so they’re going to have to apply again at some point and be back on the radar. But you are right, it’s not being implemented that great. I hate to judge so early in the process but if they’re not at least following up on the people with children who opted out because of drug testing they’re not serious about this.

  6. Pingback: It’s Bigger Than “Bath Salts” and “Zombie Apocalypses” | Charity Sapphire

  7. I am a retired state of Florida CPI (Child Protective Investigator) & CPIS (Supervisor). I worked under three governors who were far more competent and compassionate than the present one. Governor Scott is an extremist and has no competency as a caring and wise leader in this state. He is a Teabagger with misguided ideas and he has direction from the far right whose purpose is to decimate all government & government services. I would submit the real purpose of civilization and government is to serve the people. To meet common needs, to provide for the well-being and safety of the people. At a minimun it is the obligation, in my view, of government to help those most in need and in distress. The menatlly ill roaming the streets of Miami or Tampa or NYC or Boston – that is a shameful, shameful testimony to the sick and sad state of the American system, culture and our collective consciousness. It is among the saddest things I have ever heard about in my more than sixty years on this earth. We must change.

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