Vancouver’s Portland Hotel Society gives alcoholics the harm-reduction treatment

Valerie was living on the streets of Vancouver, sleeping in the park with a plastic bag for a blanket.

She was a chronic, homeless alcoholic caught in the soul-crushing cycle of addiction on the city’s notorious Downtown Eastside.

“I was living on the streets and I was drinking Listerine and rubbing alcohol,” Valerie said in a video shot by staff at the Portland Hotel Society, one of five groups across Canada that has decided to extend to chronic alcohol addiction the controversial harm-reduction approach better known for treating heroin addicts.

Dene Moore Reports

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