New Survey From Drug Test City Shows Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is Unpopular

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A recent survey of 400 Kentucky residents showed that 46% of people oppose drug testing welfare recipients while only 29% supported it.

Among answers given by respondents providing for hungry children was a common thread in opposing drug tests

A survey conducted by Drug Test City and published on their own website earlier this year showed that public support for drug testing welfare recipients is falling. The majority of the public, even in a state that has a high level of conservative policy support in regards to welfare, does not support widespread drug testing for welfare recipients.

According to the survey 46% of respondents were against drug testing welfare recipients outright, 29% supported it, and 25% were unclear.

Among the answers given by respondents providing for hungry children was a common thread in opposing drug tests, and fairness in regards to people who are required to drug test for employment was the most common reason people supported drug testing welfare recipients.

Since 2011 there have been more than 15 states enact laws that would allow welfare recipients to be subject to drug testing. The groups that have studied the success of these programs mostly conclude that the costs do not justify the results, however as Drug Test City points out most of the groups that published analysis are heavily biased.

In a departure from publishing a biased report in support of their industry, Drug Test City concluded that the public did not support drug testing welfare recipients and in most cases the costs did not justify the benefits, but they also pointed out some of the flaws that non profit groups made in their analysis as well as the success of programs that seemed to be managed better.

It was also noted that the response was not split along party lines as most hot button political topics are, and the group that showed the most support for drug testing welfare recipients was recovering drug addicts.

In 2013 the state of Utah spent $30,000 on drug testing welfare recipients, but only 12 people tested positive. 250 others did not meet the testing requirements. Governor Brad Wilson stated that denying benefits to those applicants saved the state over $350,000. It is also hard to pinpoint the effect drug testing had on applications.

It is clear that to know whether or not a drug testing program actually provides benefits then a more comprehensive analysis by a third party that does not have an obvious bias or vested interest is required. However, it’s also clear that even in a state like Kentucky that has a long tradition of self sufficiency and drug abuse, public sentiment is not in favor of drug testing welfare recipients.

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Adam Justice
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