You ask what the government's welfare reforms mean for the health service. You assert that the government intends to force drug users into treatment. You highlight a claim from Mental Health Foundation chief executive Andrew McCulloch that the NHS is not offering people drug treatment.

Yet you fail to contact the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse - or any clinician in the drug treatment field - for a view about what is really going on.

As the special health authority that is charged by the government with increasing the availability, capacity and effectiveness of drug treatment services, the agency has been closely involved in advising the Department for Work and Pensions on the green paper.

If you looked beyond the media spin about scroungers and studied the document, you would see that the focus of the new policy is about getting more drug users into treatment, and into jobs.

Although any benefit changes require legislation, the Department of Health will next year fund a network of drug co-ordinators within Jobcentre Plus to link drug treatment with employment support.

Service users are always telling us they want to get back into work. This is a real opportunity to maximise the routes into employment for those in treatment. Drug treatment services and Jobcentre Plus will work together to persuade employers to give drug users in treatment a chance.

Paul Hayes, chief executive, National Treatment Agency

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