San Francisco’s “Managed Alcohol Program” – Giving Beer and Vodka to Alcoholics at Taxpayer Expense

Will California ever wake up?

Any recovering alcoholic understands that giving them more alcohol does not allow true recovery. It simply feeds the problem and makes it worse. But the ‘geniuses’ in San Francisco’s “Managed Alcohol Program” think that they are helping the homeless addicts by giving them free beer and/or vodka.

“The program has been operating at a cost of $5 million per year for 4 years to serve 20-55 clients per year. For all the mathletes out there, San Francisco spent between $363k-$1 million per participant over a 4 year period. We could have funded 300 treatment beds instead.” Adam Nathan on X.com (for context, Adam’s startup may move from San Francisco due to the crime and other issues.)

No, this is not satire. And naturally, the officials in the San Francisco Managed Alcohol Program disputed his statement. This liberal idea may end up like that vending machine for crackpipes from a few years ago.

The Managed Alcohol Program or MAP gives the homeless addicts 3 meals per day, a motel room, and “enough alcohol to meet their needs” while supposedly keeping them at a “safe level of intoxication.” It is run out of an old motel in the Tenderloin District. According to media reports, the clients are given the alcohol by a nurse and are “monitored.”

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They are connected with a doctor, provided “resources” to obtain government ID, psychiatric services, and wellness-based activities.

The theory appears to be, if you can’t beat ’em, manage ’em.

“Our goal at MAP is not to decrease the amount of alcohol that is consumed, or to taper someone towards abstinence, although both of these things have happened with clients in our program.  The goal is to mitigate the many health, legal and interpersonal harms associated with unsafe alcohol use.” Alice Moughamian, the Nurse Manger of the Managed Alcohol Program and the San Francisco Sobering Center.

“San Francisco health officials say the program has saved $1.7 million over six months in reduced hospital visits and police calls made by participants who previously heavily relied on emergency services. Officials said that after clients entered the program, visits to the city’s sobering center dropped 92%, emergency room visits declined more than 70%, and EMS calls and hospital visits were both cut in half, the Chronicle reported.” Fox

There is a plethora of excuses for this program. Canada, Portugal, and the UK all have similar programs, and even some Fire Departments are happy with the results. Not everyone is thrilled with it, including Mayor London Breed. Yet she hasn’t moved to quash it.

Managing a problem is not the same as fixing a problem. Hiding it out of sight is not the same as giving addicts freedom from the monkey on their back.



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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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