Downtown Eastside alcoholics taught how to make booze for harm reduction

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Make Alcohol Program

Alcoholics in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) hardly ever drink beer or wine because they simply can’t afford it. Instead they often choose cheaper alternatives: rubbing alcohol, mouth wash, hair spray and even hand sanitizer.

To combat the health issue, the non-profit organization Portland Hotel Society (PHS) has created a harm reduction program called the Managed Alcohol Program (MAP).

MAP will teach alcoholics in the DTES how to make their own spirits. However, there’s a catch: the program requires participants to pool their own money to buy the ingredients to make the alcohol.

To be eligible for MAP, participants are required to attend weekly educational meetings. Through the program, alcoholics in the downtown Eastside are not just ingesting a safe liquid but they are learning about the dangers of alcohol as well.


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