The Department for Work and Pensions has said that over one quarter of those 80,000 had not been in employment for an entire decade and campaigners have estimated that less than 10 per cent of problem drinkers are receiving any form of help.
There have been various pilot schemes which endeavoured to determine whether individuals were capable of going back to work, but none have been a full proof success and campaigners expressed concerns over whether there was enough support to help people back into work.
As part of overhauling the process, the government has released details of 81,670 people who are claiming incapacity benefit as a result of alcohol, drug and obesity issues.
The figures show that as of last August, 42,360 claimants has an alcohol addiction, 37,480 were drug dependant and 1,800 were obese.
When further broken down the figures revealed that 12,800 alcoholics, 9,200 drug addicts and 600 obese people have been claiming the benefit for over ten years.
Employment minister Chris Grayling has said the problem needs to be addressed.
“It is not fair on anyone for this situation to continue,” he said. “Far from being the safety net it should be, the benefits system has trapped thousands of people in a cycle of addiction and welfare dependency with no prospect of getting back to work.
“All of those are conditions which are treatable, which are able to be overcome if we give people the right support.” He said.
Mr Grayling said that various voluntary and private organisations had agreed to invest £580m in helping to treat addicts and prepare them for employment.