Booze Makes Homeless Happy and Healthy

Ah, those wacky Canadians!

TORONTO (Reuters) – Giving homeless alcoholics a regular supply of booze may improve their health and their behavior, 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.

They didn’t get in trouble because they couldn’t steady themselves long enough to take two steps!

“Once we give a ‘small amount’ of alcohol and stabilize 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.”

Baiting with alcohol to employ medical experimentation. Priceless.

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

Oh, well, then, that’s OK I guess.

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.

Three hots and a cot – I’d expect them to be clean as a whistle (internally and externally).

The per capita cost of around C$771 ($660) a month was partially offset by monthly savings of C$96 a month in emergency services, C$150 in hospital care and C$201 in police services per person.

Turnbull said some of the people enrolled in the program had stopped drinking altogether, although that was not an option for many of the participants.

“We agree 100 percent that abstinence is the most appropriate route,” he said. “But in this subset of people where abstinence has failed, there is still a need to provide care.”

Uh, yeah – that’s some kind of provided care. Beam me up Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here.

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