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Program in Amsterdam pays alcoholics in beer

Program In Amsterdam Pays Alcoholics In Beer

A controversial program in Amsterdam is paying alcoholics partly in beer to clean litter off the streets.

NBC reports the initiative has some government funding and gives the alcoholics five cans of beer a day, rolling tobacco, a hot lunch and the equivalent of about $13 in euros.

One of the project's leaders told NBC the program gives the alcoholics, who normally sit on the street, something to do.

She also told the BBC: "It's quite difficult to get these people off the alcohol completely. We have tried everything else. We might not make them better, but we are giving them a better quality of life."

In January, The New York Times reported other cities in the Netherlands were looking into adopting the program as well.

The paper also points out some conservative lawmakers in Amsterdam have called the program a waste of government money, saying the program shows tolerance for alcohol abuse.

But the project leader with the program says the alcoholics don't get enough beer to make them drunk. She also says she hopes the program helps them make positive changes in their lives.

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bharrison777 May 01 2014 at 3:03 PM

Let's pay welfare bums to do work. At least require some work for all the freebees.

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1 reply
hodefense22 bharrison777 May 01 2014 at 4:08 PM

ive been saying that for years, they should be working as well nothing should be free. i had a lazy neighbor that decided she'd rather be on welfare than work at walmart

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kphog May 01 2014 at 11:43 AM

Pay them in money and they will go buy alcohol anyway.

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macsportsvt May 01 2014 at 6:09 PM

It's not that inappropriate unless the individual is attending AA as well.

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Disculpame May 01 2014 at 11:14 AM

In the 30's and the 40's marijuana users were the scum of the earth. Mothers would tell their children stay away from these maggots of society because they will unduly influence you to pick up their habit and waste away just like them. The police treated them accordingly and many spent years in prison. How times have changed. Now the most influential professional is a marijuana user under the guise of necessary medicinal benefits and the states have lessened their penalties on marijuana abuse. The new pariah and substance abuser is the alcoholic, with no penalties incurred by the enabler, the alcohol industry? Hypocrisy at its best. I vote yes for Amsterdam and its program. You will never wean them of their preferred drug habit, no different then attempting to wean the marijuana abuser, and the municipality will get a clean inner city in return. This is a better trade off then street corner panhandlers, with outstretched hands and providing nothing in return.....

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Sherry May 01 2014 at 11:04 AM

I don't see the problem. They're at least doing something useful unlike the welfare system in the US.

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dwtomczyk May 01 2014 at 11:03 AM

at least they get paid

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ANTON May 01 2014 at 11:02 AM

Beer is a staple in Europe, in many countries minors drink beer, when I was there 3 years ago the soda machines on the street had coke, coke, coke, beer. Anyone including children can walk up and buy a beer out of a machine, but they don't because most of them can drink at home. A few state laws here will allow a minor to have a drink as long as their parents are with them, most are from states settled by German immigrants, a country where beer is at the dinner table for the whole family. The Netherlands is the same way, beer is like iced tea or milk, although much stronger than beer over here, American beer is watery. Same with nudity, we are so uptight about it over here, we have to blur a side boob or butt cheek while in Europe you can see full frontal nudity on TV commercials and nudie mags are out in front of the counter for anyone including kids to read. I can watch a women being beaten, raped, cut up, sliced and diced, I can see her headless but not topless, makes no sense.

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1 reply
shevon ANTON May 01 2014 at 12:04 PM

Move to a place in Europe where you can see nudity if that is a problem for you.

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1 reply
joe shevon May 01 2014 at 2:42 PM

This A-hole probably has no idea that his liberal government's FCC is the one who keeps nude frontal off of television.

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smabalton May 01 2014 at 6:14 PM

alcoholism is a terrible chemical disease.do you think it is fun when your whole life centers around the craving, control, fear of control and search of aquusition of alcohol- or other drugs for that matter? and there are less and less resources for Rehab/Help which have to be comprehensive and longterm. recovery is longterm, and the AA concept is available free and available worldwide and its principles are used in the fanziest of Rehab Centers, among other treament modalitiest. Topomax originally an antiseizure medication also used for migraines and mood swings amazingly helps some for alcoholcraving and against withdrawl symptoms. discuss it with your doctor- and go to AA
don't count on free beer- esp not in the South....

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2 replies
thomashollman19 smabalton May 01 2014 at 6:26 PM


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fernandezarthr smabalton May 01 2014 at 8:09 PM

...what about rehabilitation?,.......they just gave up on this people?,......or are they just part of the "Business"???........

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thomashollman19 May 01 2014 at 6:25 PM


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4 replies
fernandezarthr May 01 2014 at 10:48 AM

.......No "Rehab" and no "Intervention" in Liberal Amsterdam!!.......what the hell, their dead anyway!!!!.......Right???.....

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1 reply
joe fernandezarthr May 01 2014 at 2:41 PM

They would rather these people who are undesirables die like the rest of Nazi Europe. Why treat these people when it will cost much more money than cheap beer? Throwing gasoline on a fire will remove a problem much quicker than years of treatment.

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