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Experiment: Amsterdam gives alcoholics beer to clean the city.

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posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 02:59 AM
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I heard about a social work experiment certain parts of Amsterdam are trying out.


Amsterdam has begun employing alcoholics to clean the city's streets, paying them in cash, tobacco and beer. City authorities say it's solving the problems related to public drunkenness. Critics question whether the program unethically enables addiction.

The idea came about some time ago in a somewhat messy way in Amsterdam's Oosterpark. The green space near the city center, with its duck pond and expansive lawns, was a pleasant retreat for families. If not for the drinking, that is. "There were complaints from residents for years," says Caspar Itz, spokesman for the Oost district government. A group of as many as 40 alcoholics were making the park unsafe, he says, with fist fights, public urination and plenty of shouting.

City authorities tried everything to fix the problem, Itz says, including fines and an absolute ban on alcohol in the park. It was all in vain, until someone came up with the street cleaning project.

The workday begins at 9 a.m. in a tool shed that functions as the project headquarters. Each person gets a coffee, a cigarette and two cans of Grolsch, a Dutch domestic brew. Then they don their neon orange safety vests, grab a garbage bag and litter picker and hit the streets of Amsterdam.

"Our intent is not to replace the regular employees of our city cleaning service," says Itz. "The main goal is to give them a task and to keep them out of the park." The project is financed by the city's social fund. "But it's really cheap in comparison to the repressive methods we applied before," he adds -- €19 per person, per day. Other cities in the Netherlands have expressed an interest in replicating the program, which is already being expanded into the Amsterdam neighborhoods of West and Noord, among others. "Parks or train stations with drinkers who cause problems are everywhere," Itz says.


www.spiegel.de...

So far, it has worked well, especially concerning the problems in the parks. Instead of starting day with vodka/larger amount of soft alcohol, the alcoholics drink significantly less during the day than they would and instead of standing, doing nothing productive in the park, except disturbing others, they clean, so cheaper costs for cleaning (19 €= $25.85 a day total cost) also. Two birds with one stone


The heroin treatment of heroin addicts has proven to be very effective, shortly lowering the amounts in the clinics. More "structured" drinking in smaller amounts (controlled by specialists) with daily routines might also lead to easier quitting long-term. Pretty interesting social work experiment, but we´ll see , how it will turn out long-term.


edit on 2-12-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 03:16 AM
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City authorities tried everything to fix the problem, Itz says, including fines and an absolute ban on alcohol in the park. It was all in vain, until someone came up with the street cleaning project.


Results are the most important. Ideally, it would be great if you could eliminate all the social factors that play into alcohol or drug addiction, but if you can't, and you are going to have them anyway, why fight a losing battle?

I know it's not a popular line, but look at what trying to prohibit everything does in some cases, if it doesn't work it doesn't work. Same as this program, if it doesn't work in the long haul, on to the next.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


The progressive mindset hard at work........Kinda looks like they might be using these addicts.........................................No of course not. What a bunch of rainbow chasing unicorn riding liberal nut jobs.



If you read this story and do not see how it is wrong on many levels you need to reevaluate more then you think. Being progressive is a sickness that can be treated with simple cures like......Growing up,Facts not personal truth and most important worrying about how long the grass is in your own backyard before peeking your head over the fence.



Rant off






edit on 2-12-2013 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 03:24 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 





So as long as they choose to be addicts we might as well use them as slave labor using what they are addicted to.



Gotta love progressive logic.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by SubTruth
 


I don't see how this is a progressive thing. I've been advocating putting all the welfare warriors here in the States to work for a long time. Give them a few blocks within their home to clean up, get one guy to drive around all day checking up on them, if theyre not out cleaning no check. More productive than sitting on the porch drinking 40's all day, the progressive way of life.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 03:36 AM
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reply to post by SubTruth
 


Absolutely what benefit would this alcoholic have besides to be stimulated for more drinking if they gonna clean the city

They gonna create this odd slavery those who wander the streets asking you to drop as much trash as you can so they get more beer yiha..

They instead should give them good counsel at a private clinic for three months to have a chance to have a better life afterwards



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 04:58 AM
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reply to post by SubTruth
 


So you want facts?

1) Netherlands has significantly softer drug laws than USA, including alcohol. You can find these yourself,

2) Drug use rates are significantly higher in USA than in Netherlands, whether it comes to cannabis, coc aine or heroin. Alcohol use is very similar per capita, Netherlands using slightly more yearly.

Study on drug use around the world

US vs Netherlands statistics

Another US vs Netherlands

US is number one in substance abuse among advanced nations


Countries with looser drug laws have lower rates of abuse, the researchers report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.


Decriminalizing drugs a success in Portugal
Whether Netherlands or some other nation, softer drug policies work significantly better than the hard policies.

3) Article on the financial as well as treatment success of state-funded heroin-clinics treating their patients with small doses of heroin.

State-funded heroin clinics have been set up in several European countries in recent years. They have all showed signs of success, but there hasn’t been any research into why – until now.


HAT has proven very effective in Netherlands also. State-funded heroin clinics treating heroin addicts with heroin, controlled amounts which go lower and lower over time. It has proven to be financially as well as having higher success rates.


To sum it up:

Liberal drug (alcohol is also considered a drug) policies are proven to be significantly more effective than strong ones, especially in Netherlands, who despite having one of the most soft drug policies in the world, is having significantly lower amount of addicts per capita than other nations, who are using the harsh policies.

Now let us make two scenarios:

1) Drunkards drinking, yelling, disturbing others all day long without doing anything productive.

2) Instead of yelling and disturbing others, they do something productive - cleaning the streets. They still gain alcohol and drink it, although the amounts are significantly smaller than they would drink during the day anyways. They are supervised and the alcohol amounts are controlled by professionals at alcohol treatment.

Which do you think is more effective? The fact is the alcoholics would drink anyways, now they at least do something productive, earn at least something voluntarely, while the opportunities for getting over their addiction are brought to them and the alcohol amounts significantly reduced compared to their usual days.

There have been numerous studies confirming the effects of routine in getting over different addictions. Daily routines and habits - overall organisation and scheduling of the day have become very useful for overcoming addictions. HAT has proven very useful in overcoming heroin addiction, so why can such thing not work when it comes to alcohol?

This policy has lots of potential and considering the experience and success of other drug policies in Netherlands, which have lead them to have less addicts than in other nations at lower cost and softer policies, this might easily become another success story.
edit on 2-12-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 06:23 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 

How dare you use logic, common sense and reason!


Dont you know every idea even good ones that come out of the EU are defualt proggresive, left wing and commie!

No only the USA is allowed to come up with good ideas these days



/sarcasm
edit on 2-12-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 06:32 AM
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but they might start drinking there wages onthe job ha ha



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 06:50 AM
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I like the experimental attitude of the Dutch. Whether it works long term or not, its important to experiment and try things out.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Addiction is an illness. Off the top - it's unethical to enable addiction, and manipulate people through their weaknesses. Not saying it's not the corporate way.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 08:44 AM
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soficrow
reply to post by Cabin
 


Addiction is an illness. Off the top - it's unethical to enable addiction, and manipulate people through their weaknesses. Not saying it's not the corporate way.


Some times though you have to enable addiction for a little bit to treat it.

Cold turkey rarely works and in some cases is dangrous.

Takeing people off drugs and drink normaly take weaning and while it happens depression is normaly very common.

If the Ducth goverment plans works hopefully it will help get people of the drugs and drink slowly, safely and also give something productive for them to do in the mean time. Plus if they are helping the community people may start to view them as people again rather than sub human scum.

This plan may work or fail I dont know. But its better to try than do nothing.

I dont know how it works in the USA but I know in the UK unless you are rich rehab programs suck.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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I LMFAO when I imagined a group of stoners picking up trash on the side of the highway for marijuana. I can see where someone addicted to crack coc aine could be exploited into free or cheap labor, but that's like taking advantage of someone with a disability.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:37 AM
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crazyewok

soficrow
reply to post by Cabin
 


Addiction is an illness. Off the top - it's unethical to enable addiction, and manipulate people through their weaknesses. Not saying it's not the corporate way.


Some times though you have to enable addiction for a little bit to treat it.

Cold turkey rarely works and in some cases is dangrous.

Takeing people off drugs and drink normaly take weaning and while it happens depression is normaly very common.

If the Ducth goverment plans works hopefully it will help get people of the drugs and drink slowly, safely and also give something productive for them to do in the mean time. Plus if they are helping the community people may start to view them as people again rather than sub human scum.

This plan may work or fail I dont know. But its better to try than do nothing.

I dont know how it works in the USA but I know in the UK unless you are rich rehab programs suck.

Good points, it is much easier to get over an addiction when your hands and mind are not at idle. Work yourself so hard you do not have the time to get drunk or high and eventually the body will get used to it. To completely give up on something addictive can lead into a depression and eventually a relapse back to your drug/drink of choice.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 12:59 PM
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SubTruth
reply to post by boncho
 





So as long as they choose to be addicts we might as well use them as slave labor using what they are addicted to.



Gotta love progressive logic.


What is locking up people forcing them to build tables and chairs? Last time I checked, the US holds the largest prison pop per capita, that is used for labour, which swelled under conservative policy.

Yep, holland is progressive. Woo, hail satan.



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