Salvation Army Warns Against Cutting Addicts’ Benefits

The Government recently announced plans to scrap benefits to those who refuse to accept help for a treatable condition. This includes those refusing to accept help for obesity and addictions to substances such as drugs or alcohol. Many agree with these proposals and believe that those who cannot work because of a condition that can be treated should not be given benefits to sit at home.

However, there are some who believe these proposals to be counterproductive. The Salvation Army is now warning that forcing unemployed people to accept treatment could only aggravate addiction issues. According to the Department of Work and Pensions, one out of every twenty-five benefit claimants is suffering from alcoholism while one in fifteen has a drug addiction.

Linking Benefits with Treatment

The UK Government is investigating whether to link entitlements to benefits with support and treatment for certain conditions such as obesity and addiction. Nevertheless, The Salvation Army believes that forcing addicts to accept a quick fix for their problems could cause them to relapse. They think that addicts need to get long-term treatment to help them stay sober. The group is, therefore, going to attend the Conservative party conference on October 5th (2015) with an expert panel to discuss the issue.

Mitch Menagh is the charity’s head of Homelessness Services and he said, “Anyone who has ever tried giving up smoking, or gone on a diet will know that it is surprisingly hard to change your routine.” He explained that it is often much more difficult for an addict to give up drugs or alcohol, especially when they had lost everything. He pointed out that the road to recovery is a difficult one and that stress and benefit sanctions would not help addicts to stay on track or to even accept treatment in the first place.

Benefit Sanctions

Many addicts live with the stress of dealing with their addiction and the fallout from their actions. In many instances, those struggling with alcohol or drug dependencies have lost homes, families, jobs and their sense of purpose. For them, all they have left is the substance upon which they depend. These individuals need help and support to kick their habits, and this often takes time.

Many addicts find it hard to accept help, and it can take many months, or even years before these individuals are ready to get treatment for their problems. Forcing them to get help before they are ready may not work and is something that the Government needs to consider before putting benefit sanctions in place.

A large number of people around the country do not believe that the taxpayer should be paying for unemployed addicts to feed their habits. They cannot understand why these individuals cannot, or will not, accept help when it is offered to them freely.

It is a difficult situation that is hard to understand for anyone who has no experience of addiction and how addiction can take over lives.

Addiction Help

Addiction is an illness that destroys lives, but it is an illness that can be treated. There are numerous organisations offering treatment for all types of addiction, both in the public and private sectors. If you or a loved one need help with addiction, contact Addiction Helper today.

Addiction Helper is a free service for addicts and their families. We have a team of experienced advisors and counsellors that can provide you with advice and support on the various treatments available as well as information on where to access these treatments.

We will provide you with a full assessment and refer you to an appropriate treatment centre, depending on your circumstances. Call today for more information.


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