alcohol

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Plans to establish a center where people can go to sober up, instead of the emergency room, have languished for lack of state funding. But a renewed effort to launch the program is underway.

Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a ban on so-called powdered alcohol. Yes, that’s a thing, and no, it isn’t legal yet in the United States.

A senate committee is scheduled to consider a couple of bills that would ban a substance known as powdered alcohol – a product that isn’t available yet in this country. It’s alcohol in powder form, to which you add water and mix.

Brown University Medical School professor and doctor at Rhode Island hospital is expected in court Wednesday on charges he violated Rhode Island’s social host law. Bruce Becker is accused of allowing alcohol at a birthday party for his 18-year-old son at their home in Barrington.

A proposal is taking shape to divert frequent users of emergency rooms into a substance abuse treatment facility, instead. Rhode Island’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare has pitched a pilot program for Providence that would transport drunk or high people to a sobering center. Staff there could then connect them with more treatment or housing and job services. Dale Klatzker heads The Providence Center, one of the state’s largest community mental health organizations. He says marshaling the resources to address this social problem will be difficult.