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Drug Testing: Eliminate a Problem?

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Drug Testing: Eliminate a Problem?

There should be mandatory drug testing to get on or renew SNAP and TANF state benefits. The parents that get these benefits will use their TANF and SNAP to support their drug and alcohol habits. The children in these homes will go without proper nutrition while in the home due to the families benefits being utilized for unnecessary things. These children also fear what will happen to them if they let the authorities know that there is not enough food in the home to provide for their needs.

Mandatory drug testing to get on or renew state benefits would do double duty for society. The first thing it would do is help the children that are in households with a parent(s) that uses drugs or drinks alcohol to be able to get proper nutrition since the benefits will not be used for drugs or alcohol. (National Conference of State Legislatures Issues and Research) Florida passed a law (HB 353) requiring all applicants for TANF benefits to be tested. Applicants must be notified of the drug testing requirement at the time of application, and are required to pay for the test. If they test negative the applicant will be reimbursed for the cost by adding the amount to their benefit check. If an applicant tests positive the applicant is ineligible for benefits for one year, but can reapply in 6 months if he/she completes an approved substance abuse treatment program. A parent's positive test result does not affect the child's eligibility for benefits; however, any benefits received must be disbursed through a protective payee who must also pass a drug test. (National). The other thing this will do is to assist the people that are really needing the help and not using to get the benefits they need so that they can get proper nutrition for themselves and their child(ren).

Parents that use drugs or drink alcohol that have children in the home have seen changes in the way they can support their habit. The reason for that is because these parents use the state benefits that they are given to support their drug or drinking habit. The issuance of the EBT card has helped to make this harder to do in one aspect but easier to do in another aspect. The way it has made it harder than when the state issued food stamps is that now the children can not take the stamps in to a store and buy a cheap candy so that the parent(s) can have the change from the candy that was purchased to purchase their drug of choice. Until the late 1990's benefits were issued as coupons worth $1, $5, and $10 in US currency. The EBT card is now issued for state benefits so there is no way to get the change back after getting a cheap piece of candy, and getting to use the change for the purchase of drugs or alcohol. The way this has made it easier is that now the person that is using the card is not required to show a separate card to prove that they are the rightful owners of the card. This means



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