A San Francisco Program Giving Alcohol To Alcoholics

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San Francisco’s Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) houses up to 20 homeless individuals with severe alcohol use disorder in a former hotel, providing them with controlled doses of liquor at set intervals. This controversial initiative aims to prevent over-intoxication and alleviate the dangerous withdrawal symptoms experienced by those physically dependent on alcohol. Patricia Wu and Jessica Reyes break down the story with Dr. Jude Black

Enabling addiction or saving lives?

While critics argue that the city is enabling addiction, MAP’s proponents, like Bruce and Lisa, assert that the program saved their lives by stabilizing their health and providing essential support services. The program aligns with the harm reduction model, which prioritizes minimizing the negative consequences of substance abuse rather than enforcing abstinence.

MAP: An unexpected success

MAP has been successful in significantly reducing emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and emergency medical service activations among its clients, saving the city $1.7 million over six months. Additionally, it has fostered a sense of community and dignity among participants.

Continued criticism of MAP

Despite its successes, MAP faces criticism for its unorthodox approach and $5 million annual budget. Mayor London Breed has expressed skepticism about harm reduction strategies, but the program continues to receive funding due to its positive impact on reducing the burden on emergency services and improving the lives of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

To learn more about Dr. Jude Black, visit her website and connect with her on Instagram.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
At the heart of MHTN - America's pioneering 24/7 Mental Health TV Network - is our editorial team, a dynamic group of professionals united by a shared commitment to transforming the conversation around mental health. Our team is composed of seasoned journalists, mental health experts, researchers, and storytellers, each bringing a wealth of experience and a passion for advocacy.

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