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Dutch Clinic Treats Alcoholics With More Alcohol

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In stark contrast to therapy sessions held by Nurse Ratched, Centrum Maliebaan in Amersfoort goes easy on its patients. In fact, for those patients dealing with alcoholism, the clinic allows its residents to take a nip or two. But if a small sip here and there doesn't quite cut it, how's five liters of beer per day sound?

Eschewing the concept of cold turkey, the center believes in dampening the negative effects of withdrawal with some hair of the dog -- provided the dog is a St. Bernard. Team leader Pieter Puijk describes the benefits of a "light buzz" to AFP.

"When alcoholics wake up in the morning, they feel sick. Then they drink until the feeling of sickness passes." Residents are permitted to a half-liter of beer before 7:30 a.m. which, as Puijk explains, "allows us to keep the percentage of alcohol in their blood constant, creating a 'light buzz' effect."

He added, "Their heads are clearer and we can work with them: We can get them to see a doctor, a psychiatrist, to eat, shower and to keep their behavior under control."

Naturally, the patients approve, but they also are witnessing improvements in their behavior. One resident said, "You have the idea that you should be helping these people to quit drinking. But people cannot be forced. And you can see the results: People drink less and less over time and they drink in a more structured manner, which causes their health to improve."

Anything to help the patients recover. And hey, why not have some fun in the meantime?
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