1/05/2006

Study toasts free drinks for homeless alcoholics

"Free drinks may improve the health and lives of homeless alcoholics and reduce their run-ins with police, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Seventeen chronic alcoholics who drank upwards of 46 glasses a day over the past 35 years, including cheap substitutes such as mouthwash that often led to unconsciousness, were offered a glass of wine or sherry each hour, from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm at an Ottawa shelter over five to 24 months.

Three quit, three died of alcohol-related disease before the end of the study, but 11 others reported 'a markedly decreased consumption of beverage and non-beverage alcohol, and most reported improved sleep, hygiene, nutrition and health,' according to the authors of the study. "

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