There’s a program operating in downtown Vancouver, Canada, that is teaching incorrigible alcoholics how to brew their own beer and make their own wine, so they don’t resort – and many of them will – to drinking hair spray, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers and aftershave lotions.
The project, which began last summer, asks its 40-plus active participants to attend a support group called the “Drinker’s Lounge,” and kick in $10 for kits to make beer and wine – and by all means, layoff the crazy stuff. For that, they can party down with five liters of home-brewed beer.
“The main point of all of this is that they stop drinking the extreme stuff, which makes these people very difficult to manage,” explains Mark Townsend, executive director of the Portland Hotel Society, which works to help people with mental illness and serious addiction problems in Vancouver.
Townsend adds that the alcoholics PHS is dealing with are most prone to take a walk on the wild side, engaging in all arrays of unruly behavior, from shoplifting to boozing on anything that contains even the slightest trace of alcohol.
The Drinker’s Lounge is really the key component of the managed alcohol programs, for, as Thompson says, it gives them a sense of pride and achievement in making their own beer and wine.
“Plus, these are lonely people, living outside the system, and this creates some kind of sense of community,” he notes.