The Department for Work and Pensions has launched an independent review led by Dame Carol Black into the support available for benefit claimants with drug and alcohol problems. MEAM has responded to the call for evidence.

This review provides an opportunity to explore the range of challenges that people with substance issues face in moving towards employment, and explore how the current system could be improved to better respond to their needs.

While a great deal of the media coverage has focused on proposals to make benefits conditional on accepting an offer of treatment, this is one debate within a much wider set of issues and must not be addressed in isolation.

In responding to the review, the MEAM coalition charities – Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind – will seek to represent the experiences of people with multiple needs who have experience of substance misuse, and the practitioners who support them. In doing this, we will draw on the continuing work of our Voices from the Frontline project.

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