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Wet House?

answered 05:10 PM EST, Fri July 26, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Are you familiar with the idea of a wet house? Where alcoholics that are never going to quit get a reasonable daily dose of alcohol so they don’t have to live on the street and they don’t take too much and they get some basic services? Is it wrong to give up on people like this or is it just realistic? I am asking because my brother is a severe long time alcoholic and my brothers want to set him up with this basic arrangement in a guest cottage. He is homeless now. I am resistant to the idea but I am not sure if I should be or not. He is 43 and he has been an alcoholic for 20 years. He is very brain damaged and he has liver damage. The wet house is a death sentence but what he is doing right now is going to get him killed even faster…so what is the right answer?

Zelik Mintz Says...

I have not heard of the idea of a wet house so I don't feel educated enough about the concept to judge whether such an arrangement will work for what you described as a tragic situation for you, your brother and your family. Without constant monitoring, I am not confident that an alcoholic in your brother's circumstances - with substantial brain/cognitive damage and liver damage - will be able to live in a secure safe environment successfully while feeding his addiction.  I wonder whether a first step might be to get your brother detoxed and then explore an appropriate setting (inpatient rehab, hospitalization) to deal with his mental and physical condition.  Supplying alcohol to your brother in a controlled setting - a guest cottage - would not be addressing the substantial underlying issues of his alcoholism, nor his liver disease and psychiatric impairment.  

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Page last updated Jul 27, 2013

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