Nearly 77 per cent of all people undertaking drug addiction treatment are on state benefits, an official government study has revealed.
In the research undertaken in 2012 but released by the Department for Work and Pensions this week, government data matching found that nearly four in five people being treated for addiction had claimed state benefits such as job seekers allowance in their lifetime. More concerning was the number of people receiving the treatment who at that time were presently receiving benefits – 61 per cent.
The highly convergent figures suggest a significant coincidence rate between drug abuse and being out of work, as such a small percentage receiving treatment – only 16 per cent – had once claimed money but had gone on to find work.
The figures involved are significant. The government documents reveal a staggering 134,090 people in Britain were receiving drug addiction treatment in 2012, meaning 82,350 of them were claiming benefits.
The government datasets also gave data for individuals on benefits receiving treatment for alcoholism, which was significantly less at 42,000 nationwide. Comparing the figures yields interesting results, showing those getting treatment for drug problems are more likely than alcoholics to be unemployed or disabled.
This is a state of affairs that may not last for long, however, as the government has started a review on whether to cut benefits to drug addicts and alcoholics. Under the new plans, these groups could have the amount of money they receive from the taxpayer weekly reduced if they refuse treatment.
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