San Francisco is using donations to fund the delivery of free alcohol, tobacco, and drugs including methadone and marijuana to homeless people staying in city-leased hotels during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Thomas Wolf, a case manager who works with addicts in San Francisco, homeless people who “identified” as an alcoholic or addict are being given drugs and alcohol for free.
‘I just found out that homeless placed in hotels in SF are being delivered Alcohol, Weed and Methadone because they identified as an addict/alcoholic for FREE,‘ he wrote.
‘You’re supposed to be offering treatment. This is enabling and is wrong on many levels.’
City officials have admitted that homeless people are being given free drugs and alcohol, stating that “private donations” are paying for the items, while claiming that managing nicotine, opioid and alcohol cravings in the homeless population ensures that they won’t go out and infect others.
Dr Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s public health director, said the harm-reduction approach is widespread and based on decades of sound public health policy.
‘Our focus needs to be on supporting them,’ he said of the homeless people who are isolating or under quarantine.
But Thomas Wolf, who was a homeless addict years ago before getting clean and becoming a counselor, says the free drugs and alcohol program could do more harm than good.
‘There’s an ethical issue there. Alcohol kills more people than any other drug. And I understand the risks of having people detox in hotel rooms, but my understanding is the people who are quarantined in the hotels can leave for 30 minutes for essential services,’ he told the Chronicle.
‘So if they have to get what they think they need, that’s what they should do. But don’t deliver it to them.
‘We want them to stay inside, but, man, you’ve got to draw the line somewhere and ask for more accountability. Don’t be enabling people.’
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