It’s Great To Be A Homeless Drunk In Canada

January 5th, 2006 // 11 Comments

At least according to a new study on alcoholic homeless people and booze.

Giving homeless alcoholics a regular supply of booze may improve their health and their behaviour, the Canadian Medical Association Journal said in a study published on Tuesday.

Seventeen homeless adults, all with long and chronic histories of alcohol abuse, were allowed up to 15 glasses of wine or sherry a day — a glass an hour from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. — in the Ottawa-based program, which started in 2002 and is continuing.

After an average of 16 months, the number of times participants got in trouble with the law had fallen 51 percent from the three years before they joined the program, and hospital emergency room visits were down 36 percent.

“Once we give a ‘small amount’ of alcohol and stabilise the addiction, we are able to provide health services that lead to a reduction in the unnecessary health services they were getting before,” said Dr. Jeff Turnbull, one of the authors of the report.

“The alcohol gets them in, builds the trust and then we have the opportunity to treat other medical diseases… It’s about improving the quality of life.”

Three of the 17 participants died during the program, succumbing to alcohol-related illnesses that might have killed them anyway, the study said.

The report showed that participants in the program drank less than they did before signing up, and their sleep, hygiene, nutrition and health levels all improved.

Free booze makes Canada’s homeless healthier-study [Reuters]

By Miu von Furstenberg

  1. King Smart Ian

    This just in: People Who Have Passed Out Less Likely to Commit Crimes

  2. nicole

    This is by far the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! Let’s shill out change for Mad Dog instead of spending real cash to get them into a treatment center and up on their feet. Nice solution, Canucks.

  3. Blindqueen

    Brother can you spare some cognac?

  4. Laura Lord Belle

    15 drinks a day!!!!!

  5. Silasdog

    What the hell is this?

  6. ACEE

    bahaaaaaa lmfao im speechless!!

  7. allaboutme

    ok, i’m canadian and that is really unfortunate, but not at all surprising considering our politicians want to hug all our criminals instead of putting them in jail

  8. Canada Rules

    Look, this isn’t as strange as you’re making it out to be. People with addictions, who can’t afford to satisfy their physiological need for the drug they’re hooked on, commit crimes. They need cash to get their drugs. Obviously, it would be better if no one was on drugs (alcohol included), but the fact of the matter is that many are. The idea of placing all the homeless in treatment centres is very idealistic. The problem is that you can’t force people to get treatment. We live in democracies (sort of) in the US and in Canada, and we can’t “imprison” people “for their own good” in treatment centres, because being an alcholic and a druggie isn’t a crime: prohibition is long gone my friends. Also, a person has to buy into treatment for it work–and it is difficult even for those who do buy into it. Thus, I have to give out “props” to the folks in my nation’s capital, for somewhat alleviating the suffering of these addicts and for keeping some of them from resorting to crime.

  9. the wedding planner

    Look at MC though. She pushing herself forward as if to say “EEEWWWW, don’t breath on me”.

  10. Green Eyed Angel

    I know, what does she have to do with this? She’s photoshopped in right?

  11. LittleMo

    This is all some kind of joke, right?
    Does this mean they’re gonna start giving them crack and heroin too?

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