At a time when drug abuse and addiction reach record levels across America, and government agencies from the White Home down are involved in serious efforts to offer more treatment facilities, the State of Kentucky is considering a bill that cuts off all public assistance to anybody testing positive for drugs – including access to publicly funded the drug detox and treatment programs.
The new bill would mandate accidental drug testing of all adults who apply for, or who are already getting, public aid such as welfare, food stamps or help from Kentucky’s publicly funded medical programs. In the event that welfare applicants or recipients refuse to be tested or test positive, further public assistance would be declined.
The proposed bill that would cut-off access for these people to public assisted detox and rehab programs will be perplexing when one considers that Kentucky has among the highest doctor prescribed drug abuse statistics in the country: One study found 20% of the population using prescription drugs illicitly – that’s one individual in every five getting prescription drugs from an illicit source. Prescription drug addiction, dependency and abuse accounts for 20% of Kentucky’s admissions directly into drug detox, drug rehab and other treatment modalities.
Indeed, abuse from the narcotic prescription painkiller OxyContin has been so prevalent in Kentucky the fact that drug is known by the dubious play name “hillbilly heroin. ” Kentucky provides literally thousands of OxyContin addicts, several in jail or awaiting detoxification and rehab, and hundreds of deaths have been attributed to the drug. Yet prevailing opinion in Kentucky is definitely apparently a reluctance to spend taxpayer money on welfare if the receiver is abusing drugs.
However , by refusing treatment on the strength of a drug test, the new bill would certainly contribute to increased addiction, more drug-related crime and higher criminal proper rights and medical costs. Taxpayers might wind up paying more, in the long term, compared to cost of drug detox and rehab, and the state and society would certainly lose the opportunity to return its citizens to productivity.
It’s been proven many times that, with the right encouragement, inspiration and support, almost any drug addict or drug abuser will accept enter drug detox and rehabilitation. Thousands of dependencies and addictions are treated successfully every day with healthcare drug detox to help remove immediate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Whenever followed by comprehensive drug rehab, former addicts return to responsible, drug-free and productive lives, not drug-abusing welfare addicts.
It’s understandable for people to recoil from footing the bill for welfare recipients who abuse their status through drug abuse. But a different approach could help fulfill reluctant taxpayers and also get medication abusers into treatment and back into the productive mainstream of Kentucky life.
Why not offer those on public assistance who flunk the particular drug test at least one opportunity to take an alternative, a drug detox plus rehab program, rather than barring all of them at the outset from help with their drug problem.
Refusing to enter drug detox and rehab, or failing of any subsequent drug exams after completing drug detox and rehab for as long as they’re on welfare, would go a long way in reducing the welfare rolls and enhancing the work force with rehabilitated citizens.
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A few days in a good medical drug detox program followed by a thorough rehabilitation could help turn the whole situation around in Kentucky, and open the door to increased productivity and money saved for all concerned.