According to the experts, addicts and alcoholics rarely make a successful transition to sobriety without being willing and committed to change. Alaska’s new law – called Title 47 – is a pilot program that requires 30 days of treatment for those considered a danger to themselves, whether they want it or not.

An alcoholic passed out on a street corner in Anchorage during winter is a recipe for disaster, so Alaska is making a bold statement: if your addiction puts you at risk of death by exposure, we’ll give you thirty days to sober up and change your life.

The Salvation Army’s Clitheroe Center in Anchorage has welcomed a lot of “Title 47” clients in the four months that the law has been in effect. Robert Heffle, the Executive Director of the program says that The Salvation Army is using the new law as a tool to help chronic alcoholics become sober enough to make good choices about their future and commit to a life with about alcohol.

And, of those who’ve completed 30 days at Clitheroe, more than half have decided to extend their stay for more treatment. That in itself is quite an accomplishment, according to Heffle. He says that helping them stay sober will increase the likeiehood that they’ll get back the rest of their lives too: family, employment, housing and more.

For more on this and a video version of the story, please click here for a link to Alaska’s KTVA – the CBS affiliate.

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