The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Adults applying for welfare assistance should undergo drug screening

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 993 times Debate No: 36936
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




First round is for acceptance only.

My position is that adults applying for welfare assistance should be drug tested to determine whether or not they should receive it. If an adult who is screened tests positive for any non-prescription drugs, they should not receive welfare assistance.

Good luck to whoever accepts this debate.


drug screenings usually cost more than the savings they allow for.

it's not worth spending more money merely as a matter of principle just to keep them off the welfare rolls.

plus as a practical matter. most welfare receipients don't get that much welfare. welfare here is being defined in the narrow sense as cash assistence. often it's only three years tops. and only if they have young children. if they want to spend a little on drugs, maybe they shouldnt, but it's de minimis what is being wasted, and in some sense more power to them to blow smalls change on whatever floats their boat. so they didnt buy household goods but chose to suffer some for drugs, give them a little liberty. at elast when teh savings are not there to do teh tests. even if you defined welfare more broadly, at least federally, only ten percent of money is spent on the poor. stop quibbling over small fries, especially when quibbling costs more than not in the first place.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting. My only stipulation in my first post was that the first round was for acceptance only, so any information you presented in the first round should be completely disregarded by the voters.

The Purpose of Welfare

Welfare assistance was originally meant to act as s sort of safety net to aid people into getting back into the job market. As such, the money given to welfare recipients from the government (In the case of the United States), was meant to be spent on basic necessities for life, such as food, water, and shelter. This money's purpose is to get an individual back on their feet so they can search for a new job and get themselves into a position where they no longer rely on welfare assistance.

In short, "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan. [1]

Welfare recipients on addictive drugs voluntarily remove themselves from the job market

Although drug testing is not required by employers for most jobs, most employers choose to spend the extra money regardless because of the financial toll taken on private businesses by loss of productivity due to drugs and alcohol. In fact, roughly 84% of all private employers are now requiring drug tests [2]. As one can expect, it is extremely difficult for one who is a frequent drug user to acquire a job in today's market. If you keep in mind the purpose of welfare (to put oneself back into the job market), it's easy to see that drug abuse completely contradicts the welfare system in its entirety.

Taxpayers are currently paying for the drug addictions of others.

By allowing drug and alcohol users to receive welfare assistance, taxpayers are effectively paying for someone else's addiction to substances. This payment may be indirect, meaning that people on welfare assistance receive money for food and thus have more money to spend on drugs, or direct, meaning that people on welfare assistance receive money that they spend entirely on their drug addictions. In either case, it is completely unfair to ask that taxpayers who actually work for a living give up a portion of their earnings to help someone else get high a few more times. People who are abusing the welfare system should not be granted any money at all, this way taxpayers wouldn't have to contribute as much as they already do.

"Taxpayers have a right to insist that their financial help not only goes to those who truly need it but that it's not wasted on frivolous or self-destructive activities such as drug use" - Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow in domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation [3].

Denying welfare assistance to individuals with addictions encourages less-abusive behavior

By denying financial aid to individuals who test positive for substance abuse, it encourages those individuals to identify the problem and receive help for it with the incentive of receiving aid in the future. Requiring these drug tests will give addicts encouragement to improve their lives, support their own families, and make positive contributions to society instead of draining taxpayer resources to support an unhealthy drug addiction. If you had a friend that was desperately in need of money, but also had the knowledge that this friend would spend any money he receives on their drug addiction, would you honestly choose to continue to support this addiction that is ruining his life, or would you encourage that friend to instead get help and better his life? To me the answer is clear, drug addicts should not be receiving taxpayer funds to spend on more drugs.


dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


That's a shame. I really wanted to debate this topic too.


dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Extend my arguments. New arguments should not be posted in the final round, but I will allow my opponent to use the final round to respond to the arguments I made in the second round, provided she chooses to actually participate.


my apologies for being too busy to engage in a lot of dialouge.

the money's purpose. i agree it's not best to be used for anything but necessities. most people don't buy too much drugs, or hard drugs etc. i still say we're splitting too many hairs for little gain. we lose more money than we save by drug testing.

employers drug test to avoid liabiity from drug users, and to ensure good workers. this isn't the same as teh government.... the government is merely trying to help someone in need.

i could see as a humanitarian argument spending the extra money we lose on drug testing, to not give money to dope fiends, as a matter of speaking. but this would be only cause we are looking out for their interests only. but we aren't donig that only. we are trying to help a lot of people, and it as cost effective as possible. the excessiev abuse is de minimis and to some extent the dope fiend is only hurting himself. it's like choosing to give or not give money to the guy on the street, should we screen and give the third degree to everyone we meet, or give the benefit of the doubt? sometimes it's best just to give some deference, and if they ony hurt themselves in the end, that's their own problem.
we have to balance a lot of factors and excessive abuse isn't too common.

to sum, should they be drug tested? in an ideal world yes. but in the practical world where it costs more than it saves, and the excessive abuse is de minimis, we shouldn't bother.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Double FF , breaking the first round acceptance rule, horrible S&G, bad arguments, no sources... Yeah. Con loses.