Review begins into benefits for drug and alcohol addicts

Drug and alcohol addicts could lose their sickness benefits if they refuse treatment under a review now under way.

Medical expert Dame Carol Black is to examine the support given to addicts - and obese people - on sickness benefits to "better support them in work".

David Cameron, who ordered the review, says there is currently no requirement for such groups to undertake treatment and suggested that this could change.

But one Tory MP said it was "ethically unacceptable" to coerce people.

The idea of requiring drug users to seek treatment or lose their benefits was first suggested by the last Labour government although it was not adopted following a consultation.

During the last Parliament, the Conservatives floated extending the concept of sanctions to those with serious alcohol conditions and the clinically obese but the idea was not pursued by the coalition government.

Options considered

In February, the prime minister...

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