Scrounger narratives and dependent drug users: welfare, workfare and warfare

2016-10-19T09:41:13Z (GMT) by Emma Wincup Mark Monaghan
Since 2008 political and media attention has focused on the allegedly problematic behaviour of drug users who ‘choose’ to pursue their ‘habit’ at the expense of the hardworking taxpayer. This forms part of the ‘new welfare commonsense’, which censures welfare dependency and stigmatises drug users as ‘undeserving’ claimants, entrenching the ‘war on drug user’ discourse. This article makes a significant contribution to recognising that stigma is a substantial barrier to recovery. It identifies ways of challenging the ‘scrounger’ narrative as applied to drug users through more informed media reporting and less coercive approaches to address drug and welfare dependency.