DrugScope response to the Welfare Reform Green Paper: No-one written off - reforming welfare to reward responsibility
We would like to hear your views about our response to the Green Paper - a summary is below. If you have any views or comments please contact Dr Marcus Roberts at email@example.com
Our online survey seeking views on the Green Paper will remain open until the end of October: here.
DrugScope welcomed the commitment in the new drug strategy to focus on the social (re)integration of people with drug problems. We agree that problem drug users have too often been 'written off' by the welfare system - we need to be more ambitious. We agree that employment, training and other forms of meaningful activity (such as voluntary work) can have an important role to play in supporting and sustaining recovery from substance misuse problems.
We believe that a benefit regime for problem drug users will only work in supporting people in drug treatment if it recognises that:
- multiple need is common among people with serious drug problems (for example, many problem drug users have physical and mental health problems, are homeless or in insecure housing and have criminal records);
- problem drug users often face other significant barriers to employment (including skills deficits and employer attitudes);
- for many problem drug users entry into mainstream employment may be an appropriate long-term aspiration, but may not a realistic short-term goal.
We support the proposals in the Green Paper:
- to improve links between JobCentres and drug treatment providers;
- to provide individualised support for problem drug users to help them into education, training and work;
- to introduce a treatment allowance if this will better support people in drug treatment, for example providing problem drug users with an opportunity to address their problems before requiring them to actively seek or be available for work;
- to subject new approaches to proper pilot and evaluation processes before rolling them out.
We do not support the proposals in the Green Paper:
- to identify all problem drug users entering the benefit system;
- to consider drug testing or fraud investigation as part of a welfare claim process;
- to increase information sharing between the welfare system and the criminal justice system;
- to use the threat of sanctions to underpin a regime for problem drug users, linked to a condition to attend drug treatment.
DrugScope's response is based on consultation with our membership and other stakeholders. We have consulted directly with over 200 people through a series of consultation events and a survey. (See appendices 1, 2 and 3 PDF.)
DrugScope's response to the Government consultation on the national drug strategy
This response was produced by DrugScope with the support and input of many organisations and individuals who have worked with us throughout our 2007 policy review - members of our expert groups, our trustees and contributors, the people who came to our conference and the many workers, managers, commissioners, service users and family members who came along to our consultation events. We would like to thank everyone for their contribution.
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DrugScope response (PDF 205KB)
Individual sections can be downloaded below:
Acronyms used in consultation response documents (PDF 7KB)
DrugScope key messages for the new strategy (PDF 67KB)
DrugScope and our constituency (PDF 44KB)
DrugScope policy framework (PDF 57KB)
Drug trends (PDF 46KB)
How was it for you? A decade in view (PDF 87KB)
Section A: Building a new drug strategy (PDF 59KB)
Section B: Young people, education and families (PDF 141KB)
Section C: Public information campaigns (PDF 53KB)
Section D: Drug treatment, social care and support for drug users in re-establishing their lives (PDF 151KB)
Section E: Protecting the community from drug-related crime and re-offending (PDF 62KB)
Section F: Enforcement and supply activity (PDF 112KB)
Section G: Broad strategic questions (PDF 127KB)
DrugScope is committed to encouraging and facilitating an ongoing dialogue and debate about the drug strategy (current and future). We would like to hear your views on our response to the consultation - please contact our Chief Executive at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like a copy of the response in larger print please email: email@example.com
'DrugScope occupies the “demilitarised zone” in the so-called “war” on drugs. We do not believe that the continuing polarisation of discourse between health and criminal justice, between legalisation and prohibition, between maintenance and abstinence, does much to benefit either individuals whose lives are affected by substance use or the communities in which we live.
Over the past 12 months, DrugScope has reviewed and reformed its policy work, changing both the way in which we represent the views of our stakeholders and how we use those views to build new policy and engage with current and future debates in drug strategy. DrugScope’s new policy framework is focussed on fluid, broad and consensual policy formation and response...
It is this debate and discussion, the sifting of the evidence and the regular ongoing and extensive nature of our contact with our stakeholders that reinforces our unique overview of UK drugs strategy. It is from this perspective and in collaboration with our unique constituency that we offer the following response to this consultation.'
DrugScope is extremely grateful to Sara McGrail who not only prepared this document (September – October 2007) but played such a crucial role in devising and facilitating the consultations with our members and stakeholders.
The Government's report: Drugs: protecting families and communities - 2008-2018 strategy, 2008
Download: Full report (1 MB)
DrugScope's Press Release, 27th February 2008: Drug strategy: can the government deliver?
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DrugScope's policy position
Meta Messages (PDF 37KB)
Drugs and the law
Cannabis reclassification (PDF 77KB)
Drug legalisation (PDF 37.9KB)
Ecstasy (PDF 70KB)
Ketamine (PDF 35KB)
Magic Mushrooms (PDF 131KB)
Drugs, crime and disorder
Alternatives to custody (PDF 101KB)
Crack Houses (PDF 70KB)
Drugs and crime (PDF 88KB)
Drug seizures (PDF 73KB)
Using Women (PDF 72KB)
Drugs and society
Drugs and sport (PDF 83KB)
Drug testing at work (PDF 84KB)
Dual diagnosis (PDF 69KB)
Afghan heroin (PDF 140KB)
Drug treatment and harm reduction
Drug consumption rooms (PDF 82KB)
Drug treatment (PDF 79KB)
Heroin prescribing (PDF 36.4KB)
Drugs and young people
Drugs dogs (PDF 36KB)
Random drug testing in schools (PDF 37KB)
Young people (PDF 39KB)
Various policy projects
Drugs and Sport – A DrugThink Report - introduction (September 2004) (PDF 182KB)
The full DrugThink report is available as a free download to DrugScope members. Join now!
CORRECTION: Please note that Dr Magdalinski's first name is Tara and not Ruth, as has been quoted in this report.
DrugScope facilitated the work of the Independent Inquiry on Drug Testing at Work and drafted its report, which was published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2004. A summary is at: www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/foundations/pdf/694.pdf and the full report is available from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
In 2004, DrugScope joined forces with the Beckley Foundation at Oxford to assess international drug policy, producing a series of landmark reports and policy briefings. These publications are available online at www.internationaldrugpolicy.org
DrugScope's Next Steps for EU Policy: DrugScope manifesto European Parliament Electons 2004: Next Steps for European Drug Policy (PDF 135KB) Flyer
Martin Barnes (DrugScope CEO), NTA Treatment Effectiveness Launch 30/06/05 (PDF 27Kb)
Martin Barnes (DrugScope CEO), Drug treatment, 2004 (PDF 98KB)
Moving the drugs debate forward, Café Babel (www.cafebabel.com) 3rd July 2006 (PDF 101KB)
Media should focus on all drugs to help in prevention (Young People Now, 5-11 April 2006) (PDF 95KB)
Drug testing in schools: a policy perspective (Youth & Policy No 90, Winter 2006 (National Youth Agency)) (PDF 174KB)
Moral thing to do is to save lives (Druglink Sept / Oct 2005) (PDF 64KB)
Put on your sensible choose (Druglink July / August 2005) (PDF 29KB)
Drug consumption rooms and heroin prescribing (Public Health News, June 2005) (PDF 18KB)
Beyond drugs and crime (Safer Society Election Special, Spring 2005) (PD 43KBF)
Reclassification of cannabis (The National Student, April 2005) (PDF 29KB)
Ripping Yarns (Druglink Mar/Apr 05) (PDF 29KB)
Women, drugs & prison (CareandHealth, 22-28 Feb 05) (PDF 35KB)
Just say ‘no’ to drug testing in schools (Health Education 105 (2), 2005) (PDF 34KB)
Every story tells a picture (Druglink, Jan/Feb 05) (PDF 20KB)
Beyond 'just say no' (childRIGHT May 2004) (PDF 83KB)
Effective drugs policy:why the journey's end is legalisation (October 2003) (PDF 64KB)
Letter to The Times - Rehab does work (The Times Online, 6th October 2008)
Letter to The Independent re heroin prescribing (The Independent, 21st February 2007) (PDF 98KB)
Letter to The Guardian Society - Needlepoint (The Guardian Society, 5th July 2006) (PDF 81KB)
Letter to The Independent re unhelpful cannabis rhetoric (The Independent, 4th July 2006) (PDF 74KB
Letter to The Times: Addicts need help not scorn (The Times, 4th July) (PDF 80KB)
Letter to The Telegraph regarding safe injecting rooms (The Telegraph, 25 May 2006) (PDF 86KB)
Letter to The Independent re the prescribing of heroin (The Independent, 15 February 2006) (PDF 71KB)
Letter to The Sun re pressures to take cocaine (The Sun, Jan 2006) (PDF 67KB)
Letter to The Guardian re drug classification (The Guardian, Jan 2006) (PDF 68KB)
DrugScope comments on Kate Moss coverage' (Voluntary Sector News, October 05) (PDF 66KB)
Drug consumption rooms and heroin prescribing (Public Health News, June 2005) (PDF 102KB)
Drug testing may hide issues (Letter to Editor, Employee Benefits 09/06/05) (PDF 16KB)
Good news on illegal drugs (Letter to Editor, The Independent 27/05/05) (PDF 17KB)
Is it any wonder that young people turn to drugs and drink? (Letter to Editor, The Independent, 25/03/05) (PDF 17KB)
Drug tests are off target (Letter to Editor, The Times 08/03/05) (PDF 17KB)
Drug testing (Letter to Editor, The Independent 11/01/05) (PDF 17KB)
Abstinence versus harm reduction:response (Jan 2005) (PDF 30KB)
Paper on incremental law reform, 2003 (PDF 174KB)