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No one written off?: welfare, work and problem drug use

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Journal number4
Volume17
Number of pages18
Pages315-332
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The welfare ‘reform’ Green Paper, No one written off, outlined a range of proposals related to getting problem drug users into treatment as a first step to getting such people into paid work. This article outlines and critically engages with the contents of No one written off, particularly those aspects associated with the proposed introduction of a new social security benefit–a treatment allowance–for problem drug users. The article locates the proposed changes to income maintenance policy for problem drug users in Labour's concern with the behaviour of those people it defines as deviant and/or irresponsible. The article argues that because of the level of coercion proposed in the changes, they have the potential to impoverish further problem users. This, along with the pathologizing of problem drug users, means the proposals are likely to have little effect in getting problem users into either drug treatment programmes or paid work.