Why give alcoholics any assistance? They’ll just spend it on booze!

While it is true that alcoholics are responsible for 60% – 80% of alcohol revenue, not only do they have other expenses, they have a much harder time meeting those expenses. They have rent, food, and clothes payments like anyone else. They often have child support payments as well. Their ability to pay those is greatly reduced. Because they are alcoholics, they have a very difficult time holding a job. They may have 5 or 6 jobs in one year – usually at minimum wage. When (not if) they show up drunk or fail to show up one day, they are fired. With other illnesses, the employee stays home a day or a few days and recovers and returns to work, not so with alcoholics.

Studies show that having stable shelter is one of the biggest deterrents to addiction. I would venture that stable food would also be a big help.

I am not advocating that the government or charities provide a means to acquire alcohol, but I am saying that welfare for buying food, and assistance for shelter should not be denied because someone tests for high blood alcohol levels. Put yourself in their shoes for a little while. Yes, most people can choose food and a steady job over alcohol and drugs, but addicts can no more make that choice than others can choose not to drink water or some other liquid.

Yes, the welfare system spends a lot on addicts and budgets are tight. Maybe we should be spending more funds on trying to find better treatments for them???

What do you think?

– Peg

3 Comments on "Why give alcoholics any assistance? They’ll just spend it on booze!"

  1. Hi Peg -I think and know that you make a very valid and great point.

    Peg, do you realize that if we, the addicted, had more people that had your level of knowledge, understanding, caring, and compassion, that this biological brain disorder we suffer from would/could be abolished throughout the world?

    You are one the few non-addicted people that I know of that openly acknowledges the addiction disorder as a function of a brain disorder and you have an avenue that you publicly say this.

    As has been discussed, 10 people in America die each hour as a result of alcoholism (AUD). What other disease or what war would we stand by and let this happen -especially if we knew their viable cures or solutions to preventing such horrific deaths?

    Thank you for your post.

  2. Thank you Carl for those kind words.

  3. Peg
    If not for your wisdom and compassion on this very terrible disease, I would not be able to go on after my son died. You have helped enormously to lift the shame that all addicts and their families feel, as well as to find my voice to demand more respectful and compassionate care, as well as the research that a disease of this magnitude deserves.

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