The Northeast Local health Integration Network in Sudbury has a new study of managed alcohol programs to review, as it prepares a report on whether such a program would help people here.

The study covered seven months and followed 18 people registered with the Kwae Kii Win Centre Managed Alcohol Centre at Thunder Bay's Shelter House.

One of the researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Research at the University of Victoria said the 18 were homeless, and unable to stop drinking.


Researchers in a recent study found clients in a managed alcohol program in Thunder Bay had less contact with police and hospital services, and were healthier. (iStock)

Within the confines of the shelter, each client was given a six ounce glass of wine every 90 minutes, Bernie Pauly said.

At the end of the study, Pauly said contact with hospital and police was down 40 per cent. And the clients were healthier, both emotionally and physically.      

“This kind of program can have a very positive impact on people’s lives and their communities,” he said.

'Humane way' to help

In Sudbury, the head of the Rockhaven rehab program for men, and the Iris Addiction and Recovery program for women, said Sudbury needs something similar to what they're doing in Thunder Bay.

“The community needs to be educated as to what we're talking about so that they're not saying, ‘oh geeze we're providing booze to drunks now’,” Kathryn Irwin-Seguin said.

“This is more than that. This is about taking care of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our community.”

Irwin-Seguin said the LHIN is calling front-line service providers like hers together at the end of the month to talk about what needs to be done in Sudbury

She noted that offering a similar program in Sudbury “would also show a humane way of addressing the needs of these individuals and strengthen the community's humanity.”