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A $5 million pilot program bringing free beer, wine and vodka shots to San Francisco's homeless alcoholics aims to relieve the city's emergency services, but one addict-turned-recovery advocate says the effort misses the mark and only delays recovery for those who need it.

"It's not a good idea, not when you consider the fact that, over the last four years, San Francisco spent $20 million to basically service a total of a couple of hundred people… by giving them free vodka and beer. For that amount of money, we could have funded 60 drug treatment beds instead," Tom Wolf, founder of the Pacific Alliance for Prevention and Recovery, told "Fox & Friends First."

"You really have to ask, where's the recovery in all of this? What is the desired outcome of this program? They say it'll save money, but we just spent $20 million bucks over the last four years. You have to really ask, ‘is it saving money, and is it making a difference?’" 

SAN FRANCISCO BUYS VODKA SHOTS FOR HOMELESS ALCOHOLICS IN TAXPAYER-FUNDED PROGRAM

Nightlife-Stock-Images

A San Franciscan program aims to curb emergency room visits and hospital stays by mitigating the effects of alcohol withdrawal with a "Managed Alcohol Program." (iStock)

The city's "Managed Alcohol Program" is operated by its Department of Public Health and focuses on administering limited quantities of alcohol to prevent serious side effects of withdrawal.

It's backed by some experts who say it can save lives. Others like Wolf, meanwhile, insist the taxpayer funds would be better suited for treatment and sobriety programs.

"What also accomplishes that goal is actually drug treatment," he said of its efficacy. "It may reduce those [emergency] calls and thereby save money but, again, we're spending $5 million a year to give people free alcohol…" 

BLUE STATE DEMS TURN ON GOVERNOR AS HOMELESS COUNCIL CAN'T ACCOUNT FOR $20B IN SPENDING

People inhabit encampments on the streets of San Francisco's Tenderloin District.

People inhabit encampments on the streets of San Francisco, California on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Homelessness and drug use have been significant concerns for San Francisco. (Flight Risk for Fox News Digital)

Wolf, a recovering heroin addict, once lived on the street. He said a similar program tailored toward his addiction would have either kept him on the street or he would be dead by now.

"I don't really see what the benefit is of all of this, and I'm glad it was exposed," he said.

The program also offers life skills classes and cultural outings for patients, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The outlet also said the city's public health department claims to have found a drop in emergency room visits as well as a reduced hospital stays and emergency calls as a result of the program.

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Fox News' Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.

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