Alcohol-Free, or Free-Alcohol

 

Latest News from San Francisco

The City of San Francisco is providing free beer and vodka shots to homeless alcoholics at taxpayer expense under a little-known pilot program.

The “Managed Alcohol Program” operated by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health serves regimented doses of alcohol to voluntary participants with alcohol addiction in an effort to keep the homeless off the streets and relieve the city’s emergency services. Experts say the program can save or extend lives, but critics wonder if the government would be better off funding treatment and sobriety programs instead.

“Established in countries such as Canada and Australia, a managed alcohol program is usually administered by a nurse and trained support staff in a facility such as a homeless shelter or a transitional or permanent home, and is one method to minimize harm for those with alcohol use disorder,” the California Health Care Foundation explains in an 2020 article describing the pilot program.

According to some sources the program costs about $5 million a year and the city has spent about $20 million on a program that has attracted some interest from a national college and university fraternity.

I Phelta Thi has offered to help the taxpayers in San Francisco by giving up their annual spring break trip to Florida. Instead of lounging on a Florida beach, they will distribute the beer and vodka shots in SFO at no charge to taxpayers.

As one six-year member of Phelta House said, “We have a lot of experience in alcohol distribution, and this would be an ideal community service program to serve both the homeless and the taxpayers that pay the bills”.

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  1. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    My client feels that the program unfairly favors straight shots which is unfair to those who prefer a mixed drink.  There is no compelling government interest that prevents the administering nurse from preparing a proper martini, shaken not stirred.  The dignity of the homeless alcoholic community is a social value that must be honored.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Boilermakers for Bums!

    • #2
  3. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    [ Rolls eyes. ]

    See the lyrics of “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”.

    • #3
  4. Al French Moderator
    Al French
    @AlFrench

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • #5
  6. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Doug Watt: As one six-year member of Phelta House said,

    “Six-year member”? As far as I know, graduate students are rarely members of fraternities. And apparently undergraduates routinely take six years to complete a bachelor’s degree. But maybe the fraternity’s stated experience with alcohol distribution might have something to do with that?

    • #6
  7. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    This sounds like an outgrowth of the Rhody-Balzer Booze Fund.

     

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being. 

    • #8
  9. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Yes, they do and that does become necessary at times. There were times that before roll call started, I would request working with a traffic division officer. One night we made a DUII arrest that involved an alcoholic. His blood alcohol level would have caused alcohol poisoning for an amateur drinker. He would have been a candidate for DT risk.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Doug Watt: Published in HumorTags: sarcasm

    For any who missed this. There also is no Greek letter “Phelta” or “Thi.” Just in case you were taken in by that part.

    The program and the quotation from the news article are real. The rest is Mister Watt’s sense of humor. Although, I might have been much more interested in fraternities had one been called I Felta Thi.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Reminds me of a bit from a fairly early episode of the series “ER.”  They had a patient come in who had drunk something with antifreeze mixed in, and to clear his system they had to “flush” it with proper alcohol.  They had no “official” alcohol on hand, though, so to avoid kidney/liver damage by waiting they used a bottle of booze that some homeless person had left behind.  Dr Green wrote out a rather technical order/prescription to cover it, and Nurse Carol Hathaway said “Bourbon shooters it is!”

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Isn’t the larger problem really that this kind of “program” doesn’t supply nearly enough alcohol to satisfy a real alcoholic?

    • #12
  13. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: Published in HumorTags: sarcasm

    For any who missed this. There also is no Greek letter “Phelta” or “Thi.” Just in case you were taken in by that part.

    The program and the quotation from the news article are real. The rest is Mister Watt’s sense of humor. Although, I might have been much more interested in fraternities had one been called I Felta Thi.

    Yes, guilty as charged. I have met many individuals on the streets that have honed my sense of the absurd, my sense of wonder, as well as my sense of humor. I cannot thank them enough.

    • #13
  14. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being.

    Every proposed political solution to a social problem is based on some theory accepted by the proponent that acknowledges that real people are involved, whether the proponent is conscious of basing his action a theory, or oblivious to the fact, or even actively denies it.

    To abandon theory is to act according to mindless impulses or muscular reflexes, like a pithed frog.

    The problem here is that the theory is wrong.  The solution is to replace it with a correct one. Not for our politicians to abandon all theories, which is to abandon thinking itself.

    • #14
  15. Al French Moderator
    Al French
    @AlFrench

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Yes, they do and that does become necessary at times. There were times that before roll call started, I would request working with a traffic division officer. One night we made a DUII arrest that involved an alcoholic. His blood alcohol level would have caused alcohol poisoning for an amateur drinker. He would have been a candidate for DT risk.

    Back then he would have been taken to the “Hooper Hilton” detox center. I don’t know if one even exists any more in Portland.

    • #15
  16. Al French Moderator
    Al French
    @AlFrench

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Reminds me of a bit from a fairly early episode of the series “ER.” They had a patient come in who had drunk something with antifreeze mixed in, and to clear his system they had to “flush” it with proper alcohol. They had no “official” alcohol on hand, though, so to avoid kidney/liver damage by waiting they used a bottle of booze that some homeless person had left behind. Dr Green wrote out a rather technical order/prescription to cover it, and Nurse Carol Hathaway said “Bourbon shooters it is!”

    The hospital where my daughter works has alcoholic beverages in the pharmacy.

     

    • #16
  17. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    A quote from the news article:

    “Our goal at MAP is not to decrease the amount of alcohol that is consumed, or to taper someone towards abstinence, although both of these things have happened with clients in our program,” she said in the October presentation. “The goal is to mitigate the many health, legal and interpersonal harms associated with unsafe alcohol use.”

    IOW, this is hospice care for alcoholics drinking themselves to death. 

    • #17
  18. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being.

    Every proposed political solution to a social problem is based on some theory accepted by the proponent that acknowledges that real people are involved, whether the proponent is conscious of basing his action a theory, or oblivious to the fact, or even actively denies it.

    To abandon theory is to act according to mindless impulses or muscular reflexes, like a pithed frog.

    The problem here is that the theory is wrong. The solution is to replace it with a correct one. Not for our politicians to abandon all theories, which is to abandon thinking itself.

    Did you like Jonah Goldberg’s second book?

    • #18
  19. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I think we should genetically engineer people to not be alcoholics. That’s the solution.

    • #19
  20. She Member
    She
    @She

    The trouble with programs that service, ad infinitum, a most vulnerable population is that they incentivize that “most vulnerable” status forward to infinity.  This, folks, is why we still have “Palestinian refugees,” whose status as such isn’t limited to the generation that was displaced and largely relocated about eighty years ago, but which status has been passed down to their descendants (many of whom have quite excellent lives in other countries) who are all still–unlike any other peoples, ever in the history of the worldad infinitum, classed as oppressed and deserving of “the right of return.”

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    I’m up for this as a tactic, but not as a strategy.  If your strategy is not–eventually–to force these unfortunates to abandon their taxpayer-funded addictions and support themselves (including said addictions if they like), then there is something wrong with your strategy. 

    • #20
  21. TBA, sometimes known as 'Teebs'. Coolidge
    TBA, sometimes known as 'Teebs'.
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being.

    Every proposed political solution to a social problem is based on some theory accepted by the proponent that acknowledges that real people are involved, whether the proponent is conscious of basing his action a theory, or oblivious to the fact, or even actively denies it.

    To abandon theory is to act according to mindless impulses or muscular reflexes, like a pithed frog.

    The problem here is that the theory is wrong. The solution is to replace it with a correct one. Not for our politicians to abandon all theories, which is to abandon thinking itself.

    Possibly. 

    Or perhaps they should abandon trying to fix things that are not fixable. 

    In any event, whenever they ‘help’ person A, persons B through U get the bill. 

    • #21
  22. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Al French (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Yes, they do and that does become necessary at times. There were times that before roll call started, I would request working with a traffic division officer. One night we made a DUII arrest that involved an alcoholic. His blood alcohol level would have caused alcohol poisoning for an amateur drinker. He would have been a candidate for DT risk.

    Back then he would have been taken to the “Hooper Hilton” detox center. I don’t know if one even exists any more in Portland.

    Central City Concern operated the “Hooper Hilton” also known as CHIERS was closed in 2020 in part due to violent meth and other drug addicts, as well as violent mental individuals in a crisis breakdown.

    I believe that intoxicated individuals are now deposited in hospital ER’s, especially those that have padded safe rooms.

    Detox was a civil hold and an easy report to write; “Subjected intoxicated, unable to care for themselves” in my time on the streets. The CHIERS van would also patrol downtown streets and they would take individuals they found passed out on the sidewalks back to Hoopers for a six-to-eight-hour hold and then release them.

    A civil hold for intoxication that does not involve an assault or traffic crime means no public offender record that will show up in a background investigation for the offender. Even though public intoxication might be a misdemeanor court calendars fill up quickly and will not be prosecuted. The DA’s office has more important crimes to prosecute.

    • #22
  23. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Sixty years ago there was an area of NYC (I think it was NYC) where bums would be passed out drunk in doorways.  They were everywhere!

    Tourists generally disapproved, but I don’t recall any offered solutions:  There may have been some, I don’t know.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Al French (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Reminds me of a bit from a fairly early episode of the series “ER.” They had a patient come in who had drunk something with antifreeze mixed in, and to clear his system they had to “flush” it with proper alcohol. They had no “official” alcohol on hand, though, so to avoid kidney/liver damage by waiting they used a bottle of booze that some homeless person had left behind. Dr Green wrote out a rather technical order/prescription to cover it, and Nurse Carol Hathaway said “Bourbon shooters it is!”

    The hospital where my daughter works has alcoholic beverages in the pharmacy.

     

    Things change.  ER started 30 years ago, this September.  Of course it’s also possible that some places did things differently even before then, but apparently not in Chicago.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I think we should genetically engineer people to not be alcoholics. That’s the solution.

    There are some ways to do that without “genetic engineering” at least on a technology level.  Starting with, don’t marry and have children with people who have alcoholism in their family line.

    • #25
  26. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I predict that The Babylon Bee will be out of business within the next year; reality is surpassing their imagination for foolishness.

    • #26
  27. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being.

    Every proposed political solution to a social problem is based on some theory accepted by the proponent that acknowledges that real people are involved, whether the proponent is conscious of basing his action a theory, or oblivious to the fact, or even actively denies it.

    To abandon theory is to act according to mindless impulses or muscular reflexes, like a pithed frog.

    The problem here is that the theory is wrong. The solution is to replace it with a correct one. Not for our politicians to abandon all theories, which is to abandon thinking itself.

    Did you like Jonah Goldberg’s second book?

    I don’t know the book so I may be missing something.

    • #27
  28. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being.

    Every proposed political solution to a social problem is based on some theory accepted by the proponent that acknowledges that real people are involved, whether the proponent is conscious of basing his action a theory, or oblivious to the fact, or even actively denies it.

    To abandon theory is to act according to mindless impulses or muscular reflexes, like a pithed frog.

    The problem here is that the theory is wrong. The solution is to replace it with a correct one. Not for our politicians to abandon all theories, which is to abandon thinking itself.

    Did you like Jonah Goldberg’s second book?

    I don’t know the book so I may be missing something.

    I read his first two books. The first one was Liberal Fascism, and it was pretty good.

    The only thing I remember about the second book is that I read it. Not a good sign.

    • #28
  29. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Back to the point of the post . . .

    I can understand how this might seem logical on a theoretical, academic basis if you ignore that real people are involved. I think the same logic drives the idea of government-sponsored places in which drug addicts can consume illegal drugs. But I don’t see how someone who is administering the actual drugs or alcohol, when faced with an actual human being, can support the continued poisoning of that human being.

    Every proposed political solution to a social problem is based on some theory accepted by the proponent that acknowledges that real people are involved, whether the proponent is conscious of basing his action a theory, or oblivious to the fact, or even actively denies it.

    To abandon theory is to act according to mindless impulses or muscular reflexes, like a pithed frog.

    The problem here is that the theory is wrong. The solution is to replace it with a correct one. Not for our politicians to abandon all theories, which is to abandon thinking itself.

    Did you like Jonah Goldberg’s second book?

    I don’t know the book so I may be missing something.

    I read his first two books. The first one was Liberal Fascism, and it was pretty good.

    The only thing I remember about the second book is that I read it. Not a good sign.

    Maybe “Why I Was Wrong About Everything, Because Trump?”

    • #29
  30. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):

    I’m not defending this ridiculous program, but just as information, hospitals provide alcoholic beverages to patients at risk of going into DTs.

    Yes, they do and that does become necessary at times. There were times that before roll call started, I would request working with a traffic division officer. One night we made a DUII arrest that involved an alcoholic. His blood alcohol level would have caused alcohol poisoning for an amateur drinker. He would have been a candidate for DT risk.

    Back then he would have been taken to the “Hooper Hilton” detox center. I don’t know if one even exists any more in Portland.

    Central City Concern operated the “Hooper Hilton” also known as CHIERS was closed in 2020 in part due to violent meth and other drug addicts, as well as violent mental individuals in a crisis breakdown.

    I believe that intoxicated individuals are now deposited in hospital ER’s, especially those that have padded safe rooms.

    Detox was a civil hold and an easy report to write; “Subjected intoxicated, unable to care for themselves” in my time on the streets. The CHIERS van would also patrol downtown streets and they would take individuals they found passed out on the sidewalks back to Hoopers for a six-to-eight-hour hold and then release them.

    A civil hold for intoxication that does not involve an assault or traffic crime means no public offender record that will show up in a background investigation for the offender. Even though public intoxication might be a misdemeanor court calendars fill up quickly and will not be prosecuted. The DA’s office has more important crimes to prosecute.

    I recall that town drunk Otis used to walk over the sheriff’s office and sleep it off in his usual cell without Andy or Barney having to get involved. Would that Mayberry solutions were the norm.

    • #30
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