Wet Houses Distribute Booze to Homeless Alcoholics
Bevan Dufty, a former Castro District Supervisor in San Francisco, is pushing a plan for homeless shelters that provide alcoholics with booze so they don’t have to quit cold turkey. These wet houses would be staffed with therapists and those familiar with treatment in alcohol rehab who would provide addiction counseling while the residents are there.
Dufty states that this idea will save San Francisco tax payers money that is spent on emergency services, ambulances, shelters and jails. The Health Department found that the city of San Francisco spends $13.5 million per year for chronic publicly intoxicated individuals. San Francisco’s wet housing program would be modeled after Seattle’s program that housed alcoholics due to the same financial issues. Seattle’s program resulted in a great decrease in financial costs as well as a decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed among homeless alcoholics. San Francisco is hoping for similar results.
This program seems to be a good idea. This would eliminate the risk of death from alcohol withdrawals and give the homeless an opportunity to hear about recovery from professionals. Studies need to be done to see if wet houses would be more cost effective. This would be a new approach for alcohol rehab which will assist a population that would otherwise be left to their own self destruction. At Lakeview Health we applaud any efforts to help people struggling with addiction and we recommend inpatient alcohol rehab for those who want to eliminate alcohol abuse. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please call one of our addiction specialists at 800-884-1727 and get on the path to recovery and a normal life.