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Managed alcohol programs

Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs) are harm reduction interventions for people with severe alcohol use disorders and who do not have stable housing.
Man drinking alcohol in the street
© CQUniversity 2021

Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs) are harm reduction interventions for people with severe alcohol use disorders and who do not have stable housing.

In general, these people face significant barriers to accessing even temporary accommodation, and, in some cases, will go without shelter as a consequence of alcohol use (Vallance et al. 2016). Such individuals may also experience acute harms (e.g. alcohol poisoning and seizures), chronic health conditions (e.g. liver disease and cancers), poor mental health, social exclusion vulnerability to assault and injury, and high rates of premature death (Pauly et al., 2018).

MAPs provide individuals with regular dispensed alcohol alongside accommodation, primary care services and social and cultural interventions. Through these provisions, MAPs work to mitigate harms by supporting individuals to change their pattern of alcohol use by spacing drinks over time, having the opportunity to consume alcohol in a safe setting, replacing non-beverage alcohol (e.g. methylated spirits) with beverage alcohol, and providing opportunities for social and cultural reconnection (Pauly et al., 2018).

The first MAPs opened in Toronto in 1997, and quickly spread to many other Canadian cities. MAPs is yet to spread globally, although there is increasing interest from countries like Australia.

Reading

Read the following article, A managed alcohol program in Sydney, Australia: acceptability, cost-savings and non-beverage use

References
Pauly, B., Vallance, K., Wettlaufer, A., Chow, C., Brown, R., Evans, J., … Stockwell, T, (2018). Community managed alcohol programs in Canada: Overview of key dimensions and implementation. Drug & Alcohol Review, 37(S1), S132-S139.
© CQUniversity 2021
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