An expanded version of this report about a study into 318 drug users included the fact that "two fifths were unemployed, sick or invalids". No surprises there. Substance abuse as a reason for being on a sickness or invalids benefit is contributing to the sustained rises in reliance on those benefits.
Here are the numbers for just the Invalid's Benefit 1997-2005;
The latest I have for the sickness benefit is 2004 when 2,418 people were substance abusers. So it's safe to say there are over 4,000 substance abusers on welfare. Bear in mind this is the number of people who have substance abuse listed as their main reason for being on a benefit. Others will be hidden away in categories like Depression.
And let's not forget the thousands who are reliant on the state as guests of HM.
42 minutes ago