Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism

Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism

There has often been a lot of controversy about housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism. The people who enter these programs are used to people giving up on them and thinking they aren’t worthy of time or energy. There are plenty of places that will house homeless people if they are willing to give up drugs and alcohol. However, there are relatively few places that will let you continue to live there if you continue to drink.

Unlike other shelters and public housing, housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism will allow alcoholics to continue to drink in their rooms. They will not be forced to choose between housing and sobriety.

Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism: Public opinion

People living in neighborhoods where these housing programs are being started often worry that they will flood the streets with alcoholics. Taxpayers often object to paying for housing that allows homeless alcoholics to continue drinking. Also, the idea of giving chronic alcoholics access to their drug of choice on the taxpayers’ dime is unacceptable to most addiction counselors. To them, it is basically giving up on a treatable disease.

Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism: Harm reduction

Much of the idea behind housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism is to cut down on simply cycling people from doorways and alleys to emergency rooms and jails. Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism actually save taxpayer money, improve community livability, and uphold people’s innate dignity. An ambulance ride and trip to the emergency room can easily cost $2,000. One night in detox is about $220. In one year, a chronic drinker can cost the taxpayer $50,000. Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism cost about $13,000 per resident annually.

The aim of housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism is to reduce alcohol’s harm to themselves and to the community at large. Drug and alcohol treatment services are available, but participation is not a requirement to stay.

Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism: Hopeless cases

Most of the people who end up in housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism have been to treatment numerous times. Sometimes there are alcoholics that can’t be treated-like those with such severe brain damage, there’s no chance of meaningful life, and those with irreversible liver damage who do not meet criteria for transplantation. However, for some who are not hopeless, avoiding the consequences of their addiction (like living on the streets) may aid them in avoiding changing their behavior. These wet houses may be the best place for hopeless cases-basically a place where they can drink until they die with a little dignity. However, it can be dangerous for someone who can recover to go to a wet house. They have no reason to quit drinking. Their meals, housing, and even their booze is paid for by tax dollars. Housing programs for people living with chronic alcoholism can rob these people of the chance to get better.

 

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