Summary of a report presenting the findings of a study commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to explore the experiences of adults with alcohol misuse problems in the UK in relation to employment, unemployment and benefit uptake. A separate report contains the findings of a study to estimate the number of people who are accessing DWP benefits and who have a problematic relationship with alcohol.
The Coalition Government has stated that it is committed to tackling drug and alcohol addiction, which is one of the most damaging root causes of poverty. The Government has also stated that it advocates an approach to addressing addiction that is firmly rooted in the concept of recovery and reintegration; a process through which an individual is enabled to overcome the symptoms and causes of their dependency, and reintegrate back into society. DWP have responsibility for the ‘recovery and reintegration’ strand of the 2010 Drug Strategy. This strand acknowledges that recovery does not begin or end with treatment, but encompasses employment, education and skills, family support, probation and wider health services around treatment in an holistic fashion to support sustained recovery. The information contained in this report will inform the development of this strand of the strategy.
The report has two main elements – a systematic review of the literature on alcohol misuse, employment and benefits, and a qualitative study involving depth interviews with 53 problem drinkers and 12 professionals working in or with treatment agencies in five study areas in England, Scotland and Wales.