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Chronic drunks' treatment costs San Francisco big bucks
SF Gate ^ | 24 Aug 09 | C. W. Nevius

Posted on 08/24/2009 12:12:48 PM PDT by Drew68

San Francisco has paid at least $150,000 for Kenny Walters in the past year. He isn't employed, has an arrest record as long as his hair, and can often be found passed out in a doorway on Haight Street.

Kenny Walters' job is to get drunk.

He's certainly not alone. "Chronic inebriants" are a grim and disturbing fact of life in San Francisco. They also cost the city millions.

The frustration is that the public service network - police, fire and medical professionals - doesn't seem to make a dent when it comes to people like Walters. There are suggestions, like a pilot program for high-impact users at the Department of Public Health, or the Community Justice Center to target frequent users, but nothing seems to get traction.

A five-year study found that 225 high ambulance users cost the city an average of $13 million annually, said Maria X. Martinez, a deputy director at the Department of Public Health.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: alcohol; alcoholism; drunk
Walters is usually too intoxicated to walk, which makes him ineligible for a sobering center. But regardless of where he goes, Walter's isn't bothered about the expense.

"Doesn't cost me a thing," he said cheerfully.

Party on, dude!

1 posted on 08/24/2009 12:12:49 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Drew68

Get him a one way ticket to NYC...they’ll send him to the Fiji Islands...


2 posted on 08/24/2009 12:16:59 PM PDT by rovenstinez
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To: Drew68
How do these people buy the booze in the first place. It takes some money to stay lit up like that all the time. Arrest him for something and get him some help. I am not one for social issues here but this guy needs some help. At this point he has a mental problem.
3 posted on 08/24/2009 12:22:13 PM PDT by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: DYngbld
How do these people buy the booze in the first place. It takes some money to stay lit up like that all the time. Arrest him for something and get him some help.

Reading the article tells that he receives nearly $1K/month in Social Security benefits, spends $600+ for his apartment, eats for free and basically has $300/month to spend on 40 oz. bottles of beer. He willfully ignores all court summonses and tickets he's received without punishment.

4 posted on 08/24/2009 12:25:33 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Drew68
What's the problem? These habitual WINOs are only costing the city about $58K per year per pop for ambulance service alone. That's cheap compared to the cost of treating AIDS under ObaMao. Why don't they just raise taxes on businesses? They have plenty of money. < / sarcasm >

Seriously, every city has a goodly supply of Mr. Walterses. In a previously life, I was a cab driver in a small midwestern city. One of my regulars was a wino who was always either checking in or checking out of the VA Hospital there. I'd be willing to bet that a relative handful of these chronic abusers account for an astronomical share of the public medical costs.

5 posted on 08/24/2009 12:27:52 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: DYngbld

Back in Vancouver BC where I’m originally from, they had the same issue with crack addicts. The solution? MORE drugs to the junkies BUT regulating it..Same ole’ socialist crap in every socialist city.

We even have a special date called “Mardi Gras” where everyone on welfare would get their welfare checks and spend it on crack and booze...which would obviously put the hospitals on red alert due to the numerous people who OD’d. Love socialism..


6 posted on 08/24/2009 12:28:34 PM PDT by max americana (i)
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To: Drew68
I obviously did not read the article. It just amazes me how people can live like that.
7 posted on 08/24/2009 12:29:00 PM PDT by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: Drew68

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to build some small cells - kind of like the supposedly non-existent FEMA camps and keep the like of him in one? AFter all, if $150K in a year didn’t get him off the booze, then maybe putting him in a small cell with no company, give him the very basic nutrition, and let him dry out the old-fashioned way - deep him separated.

Depending on state, $150K would pay for an inmate in a maximum security prison for a few years... He apparently has made the decision to wallow in drunkenness. In that state, he represents a danger to others. Put him in a position that he really can make no other decision than to walk away from alcohol.


8 posted on 08/24/2009 12:32:39 PM PDT by TheBattman (Pray for our country...)
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To: Drew68
Where I lived one time there was a subsidized senior apartment building a block away from the church. It was quiet, nice and several people attended the church from there.

Then the feds decided alcholism was a disease covered by SSI and they were eligible for subsidized housing and the only place available was the senior apartments.

From then on when you went into the building there were always several characters hanging around and at various places the stench of old alcohol.The seniors doubled locked their doors and no longer gathered in the lounge to chat and visit in the evenings.

9 posted on 08/24/2009 12:34:16 PM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Drew68

The chronic drunk ( inebrient -—lord what a euphemism) most typically ends up in insitutions or dead. Wasted time and life in many ways a tragedy. Giving them a place to “dry out” till they feel better has never really seemed to make a difference.

AA isn’t for those who need it or even those who want it. It is for those who work it


10 posted on 08/24/2009 12:37:05 PM PDT by the long march
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To: Drew68
I'd ship him to the tent city in Sacramento.
11 posted on 08/24/2009 12:38:50 PM PDT by Londo Molari
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To: max americana
where everyone on welfare would get their welfare checks and spend it on crack and booze...

While in college my wife spent time bar tending in a downtown establishment just across from the city hall and the court house. Her worst days were those that coincided with the delivery of welfare checks.

12 posted on 08/24/2009 12:39:15 PM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

Because these “patrons” were belligerent and did NOT tip, correct me if I’m wrong.


13 posted on 08/24/2009 12:41:42 PM PDT by max americana (i)
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To: Drew68

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
Dean Wormer.


14 posted on 08/24/2009 12:48:22 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire but I swear I didn't see it in my rearview mirror.)
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To: DYngbld

What help could you give a man who does not want it? This is the life he chooses. He will pass out on the sidewalks and eventually die, no matter what anyone does. If the state gives him money, he’ll buy booze. If not, he’ll find some other way to get money to buy booze.

I’m okay with the latter, not the former. It’s his life, if he wishes to end it this way, it’s his decision. I just don’t see why the rest of the people should be compelled to pay for it.


15 posted on 08/24/2009 12:48:42 PM PDT by sig226 (Real power is not the ability to destroy an enemy. It is the willingness to do it.)
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To: DYngbld
It just amazes me how people can live like that.

They don't. Not for very long, anyways. If they don't die from health complications (and they usually do) they die from other causes. They die from exposure. They die from violence. They get killed in traffic. Occasionally, they pull themselves together and dry out but this doesn't happen nearly enough.

Life as an alcoholic on the streets tends to be a short one.

16 posted on 08/24/2009 12:55:56 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Drew68

.....Post 10 from The Long March sums it up for me...over the last 29 years I’ve seen a lot of guys go thru detox and a lot of guys go thru AA...95% of alcoholics will die drunk...and BTW the oldest recovery group is not AA....it’s the Salvation Army...they’ll give a guy a bunk, supper and a job in the thrift store if he wants to try and help himself....if not, there’s little that can be done.


17 posted on 08/24/2009 12:58:10 PM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: TheBattman

In CA incarceration in state prison cost $49k per year.

How about this for a solution. Find an out of way place and give the inebriates all the free booze they want. I imagine most of them would just stay there. Call it “Big Rock Candy Mountain.”

These people, and their political accomplices, have turned much of San Francisco into a sewer. San Francisco has actually shut down fountains to prevent inebriates from using them as toilets.


18 posted on 08/24/2009 1:04:29 PM PDT by stop_fascism (Georgism is Capitalism's best, last hope)
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To: Drew68

Give him 2 gallons of Everclear.

Problem solved.


19 posted on 08/24/2009 1:06:42 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: STONEWALLS

Little that can be done?

How about a stockade in Alaska? “OK, here’s are your [equipment]. If you [do your work: pick up trash, clean up campgrounds, etc.] you get something other than gruel for [breakfast, lunch, dinner].”

The REAL tragedy is that conservatives let @#$!%! “Liberals” make and interlocking set of petty rules that PREVENTS these people being put into a situation where they:
1) Are less likely to harm themselves or others, and
2) Are more likely to help themselves or others.


20 posted on 08/24/2009 1:10:32 PM PDT by Darteaus94025
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To: Drew68

How about we send him to Mexico?


21 posted on 08/24/2009 1:42:14 PM PDT by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
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To: Drew68
Speaking of drunks

Want to see some real interesting statistics on drunk driving?

California has nearly 13 million more people than Texas, yet there are MORE alcohol related DUI deaths in Texas than California.

http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html

Yeowza!

Statistics like this will surely piss people off!

lol

22 posted on 08/24/2009 1:50:27 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Drew68

Looks like he went to one-too-many Dead concerts, and never returned.

Peace, brother.


23 posted on 08/24/2009 5:58:58 PM PDT by BobL
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To: BobL
Looks like he went to one-too-many Dead concerts, and never returned.

He's only 41 years old. Amazing. I didn't catch his age when I first posted this story. He looks like he's 60.

24 posted on 08/24/2009 8:40:50 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Darteaus94025

MAke that Washington DC and I’ll support you.


25 posted on 08/24/2009 11:05:06 PM PDT by ASOC (Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui)
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To: Drew68

26 posted on 08/24/2009 11:12:32 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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