Welfare Reform and Drug Abuse

Welfare reform and drug abuse has been an extremely controversial and highly publicized issue recently, with both sides arguing vehemently for their particular case. At the center of this issue is whether or not welfare recipients should be tested for substance abuse as a condition of eligibility to receive state or federal welfare like food stamps, WIC, TANF and other government welfare programs. While some might argue that welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population (University of Michigan National Poverty Center Substance Abuse and Welfare Reform April, 2004), others draw associative lines between the use of drugs and poverty and therefore welfare. However, these associations may be nothing more than casual, and an examination of the data related to welfare recipients and drug use is required before a great deal of legislation in this country follows the lead of states like Florida, which recently made drug testing a requirement to receive welfare.

The general nature of addiction and drug abuse is such that it is difficult to gather data that accurately reflects the number of welfare recipients that abuse illicit substances. Therefore, decisions either for or against requiring drug testing as an eligibility requirement for welfare are not likely to be based upon factual information. In fact, the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan €” one of only two states to ever enact laws requiring testing of welfare applicants €” stated that:

“Because substance use is a covert behavior, its true prevalence among the general and welfare population is unknown. Most studies have relied upon self-reports. Deceptive or inaccurate responses are therefore important concerns. Studies also differ in the thresholds used to characterize substance use problems. Some focus on simple use; others use more stringent thresholds such as abuse or dependence. Due to differing definitions and data sources, published prevalence estimates of use vary widely, from 6.6 to 37 percent of those receiving public aid.6? (ACLU Drug Testing of Public Assistance Recipients as a Condition of Eligibility April 08, 2008)

With figures as varying as these, some have simply called for the testing of all welfare applicants in order to ensure that taxpayer money is not used by or for people who are abusing the system by contributing to the illicit trade and use of drugs in the United States. State and Federal employees have also argued that since they are required to submit to drug testing as a condition of employment (and therefore to receive taxpayer money) that welfare recipients should be required to as well.
The ACLU counters these claims by stating that:

“According to a 1996 study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, differences between the proportion of welfare and non-welfare recipients using illegal drugs are statistically insignificant.”


“Seventy percent of all illicit drug users . . . ages 18-49, are employed full-time.” (ACLU Drug Testing of Public Assistance Recipients as a Condition of Eligibility April 08, 2008)

But the lines between each side should in all likelihood be drawn down the middle, and some states like Pennsylvania are taking such action. Recent legislation in the state have made testing of welfare recipients who have previously been convicted of felony drug charges mandatory and randomly test these individuals every six months. Those who test positive for drugs €” especially hard drugs like cocaine, meth, ecstasy and heroin €” are denied benefits and in some cases an overpayment of benefits case may erupt.

The real problem with this issue is that drug use and poverty are closely linked. People who have few economic or educational opportunities are much more likely to turn to drugs, and these same people are also likely to require welfare in order to survive. Therefore, a more appropriate form of legislation might follow the lead of Pennsylvania, but instead of revoking benefits, substance abuse treatment options could be offered as an alternative.

Regardless of your financial situation, your personal integrity and that of your family and community cannot remain intact if you are suffering from addiction or alcoholism. Break the cycle and reach out for help now. There are addiction experts standing by 24 hours per day to provide you with a free, confidential consultation. Let the politicians and voters decide these issues €” all you need to decide is when your drug use stops. Make it right now €” pick up the phone and take action by putting your recovery first.

Trend of Drug Abuse Among Teenagers

There are a variety of National studies that have checked out drug abuse among teenagers. Marijuana continues to at least one of the most commonly used drugs however the new trend seems to be prescription pills. The subsequent statistics is from the Office of National Drug Control. The intentional use of prescription pills, such as sedatives, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and stimulants, is that the growing concern in the United States. Prescription drug use among ages 12 – seventeen became the second most illegal drug behind marijuana.

Per the Office of National Drug Management Policy there are 3 classes of prescription drugs that are commonly abused:

one) Opioids – Codeine, Oxycodone, and Morphine

a pair of) Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants – Barbiturates and Benzodiazepine

3) Stimulants – Dextroamphetamine and Methylphenidate

Teenagers are viewing these medicine as a medically safe high. Teens will find pharmaceuticals easily from the net, through e-mail, and conjointly from family and friends. Generally these pharmaceuticals are straightforward to get and can be sold or traded for alternative drugs. Pain relievers like OxyContin and Vicodin are the most commonly abused drugs by teenagers.

Nearly 1 in 5 teenagers report abusing prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. One-third of teens believe there’s nothing wrong with using prescribed medication (not prescribed to them) once during a whereas and nearly 3 out of ten teens believe prescribed pain relievers aren’t addictive. Nearly one-third of teenagers feel pressure from their peers to abuse prescription and illegal medicine and nine % admit it’s an important part of fitting in.

In 2004, a lot of than twenty nine percent of teens in treatment were there for prescription drug dependence. In the last decade prescription drug abuse has increased and the amount of teens going into treatment has increased by 300 percent. More twelve – seventeen year olds than young adults became enthusiastic about or abused prescribed drugs in the past year and teenagers that abuse medication for the primary time before the age of 16 features a bigger risk of dependency later in life.

The increasing prescription drug abuse has become alarming. As folks it is our responsibility to make positive we have a tendency to aren’t creating it easy for our teens to induce a hold of our medications, to make positive we are cleaning out our medication closets of all recent prescription meds, and to observe the medication our teen is prescribed making sure they are not selling it or abusing it. Thus several times teenagers can abuse their own medications or sell them to friends. They can trade them for other street drugs or marijuana. Folks should bear in mind of this trend with teens. It’s more troublesome to test for prescription pill abuse which make it easier for teens to abuse. It’s our job as parents to coach our teens on the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

Drug Abuse Programs

In comparison to the conventional population, patients with mood or stress and panic disorders are about two occasions as certainly planning to also endure out of the drug disorder figure. Patients with drug disorders are roughly doubly certainly visiting endure mood or anxiety conditions.

The values of distinct co morbidities vary by gender. Among the sexes in medications method, antisocial personality disorder is much more frequent that face men, although females have bigger charges of primary depression, publish-distressing tension condition along with other anxiety conditions.

Diagnoses and Treatment

The substantial expense of comorbid substance abuse and mental illness factors to the want in an entire technique that identifies, examines and concurrently goodies equally issues. Sufferers with co-happening conditions frequently exhibit alot more extreme signs or signs or symptoms than either condition alone, underscoring needing integrated therapy. Careful diagnosis and monitoring may help ensure that doctors don’t error signs or symptoms linked with drug and alcohol abuse, like intoxication and withdrawal, for almost any discrete mental disorder.

During people whose comorbidities don’t happen on top of that, study means mental disorders can enhance vulnerability to subsequent drug use which drug use comprises a way problem for subsequent mental issues. Therefore, diagnosis and treatment methods of merely one condition is likely to lessen chance of another well , increase its prognosis.

Many scientists strongly assist the want to produce effective interventions to manage equally conditions in addition, but remedy have been hard implement used for the reason that the wellness treatment programs in place to face substance abuse and mental sickness are disjointed and inefficient. Doctors have a tendency to treat of those that have mental conditions, whereas with the multitude of companies with some other skills provides alcohol abuse remedy.

Some abusing drugs treatment methods centers don’t administer any medicines, for instance people expected to tackle patients with extreme mental issues.

Behavior procedure options that doctors personalize for virtually any provided era or gender show guarantee for coping with drug abuse and mental disorder comorbidities. Analysis is below route to establish medicines that concentrate on both varieties issues. Physicians and researchers generally agree that broad spectrum diagnosis and concurrent treatments, equally medicinal and behavior, can lead to greater outcome for people with comorbid problems.

The stigma caused by compound abuse and mental conditions typically hinders early diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Bigger understanding attributed to latest scientific findings that compound abuse and mental sickness disrupt most of the really brain abilities will minimize the social stigma that hinders therapy in search of, superior and entry by those with either or equally conditions.