“Pick Up” Project Aims to Help Alcohol and Drug Addicts in Germany

December 15, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. substance abuse /ˈsʌb stəns əˈbyus/ (n. phrase) – the state of using too much addictive substances like alcohol and drugs
Example: My brother entered a rehabilitation facility because of substance abuse.

2. brewery /ˈbru ə ri, ˈbrʊər i/ (n.) – a place or company that produces beer
Example: Our neighbor’s brewery makes the best beer in town.

3. widespread /ˈwaɪdˈsprɛd/ (adj.) – common or prevalent in a large area
Example: The government is doing its best to stop the widespread use of illegal drugs in the country.

4. the homeless /ði ˈhoʊm lɪs/ (n.) – people with no house to live in
Example: Many charitable organizations provide food for the homeless.

5. existing /ɪgˈzɪstɪŋ/ (adj.) – currently present or occurring
Example: The authorities will address the existing health problems in the city.


Read the text below.
With substance abuse becoming an alarming issue in Germany, a charity spearheads a project that targets to help alcoholics and drug addicts.

Germany is one of the countries that consume the most alcohol in the world. According to recent statistics, there are approximately 1.8 million alcoholic Germans. This may be associated with the large number of breweries in the country, resulting in a higher amount of alcoholic drinks available in the market.

Apart from alcohol abuse, drug addiction is also a widespread problem in Germany. In fact, about 319,000 Germans are addicted to drugs.

To fight alcohol and drug abuse, a charity called Addict Support Essen conceptualized the project “Pick Up.” This project aims to discourage the homeless who are addicted to drugs and alcohol from consuming these substances by asking them to do cleaning jobs. In return, the participants will receive money, food, medical benefits, beer, and cigarettes.

The project involves homeless alcoholics and drug addicts in Essen, Germany. Small amounts of beer and cigarettes are given as a reward to help the alcoholics and drug addicts to slowly lessen their substance abuse. A local clinic will also be monitoring and helping the participants’ through medical tests and therapy.

Aside from the “Pick Up” project, Germany is also taking other steps to fight substance abuse. For one, the government’s policies aim to lessen the amount of illegal drugs available in the public. The government hopes that it will lower the demand for illegal drugs.

Among the policies is Germany’s existing law that regulates the use and sale of alcohol, especially among the youth. Currently, teenagers below 16 are not allowed to buy alcoholic beverages.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is your view on paying the homeless with beer and cigarettes? Please discuss briefly.
·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, how else can Germany help its homeless citizens?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, how can substance abuse be avoided or prevented?
·         What are the existing projects or laws that address substance abuse in your country?

December 15, 2014