You want to save their soul or protect the rest of us? Sometimes you have to pick between the two (and I'm picking the latter!).
If I remember correctly, there was an article (perhaps in the New York Times Magazine?) about some drunk house in some Scandinavian Country. Seemed like a horrible place... and an excellent use of tax-payer dollars.
Consider Marion Hagerman. In his 39 years of drinking, the 54-year-old has been arrested about 60 times. He has kept drinking despite six drunken-driving convictions and six 28-day treatment sessions.
His drinking has cost the public more than $450,000. And since he was admitted to St. Anthony's two years ago?
Nothing. Not a single arrest, detox stay or emergency-room visit.
It's not that he's turned his life around — he still drinks mouthwash, which he stashes in a nearby Dumpster. But he has drastically cut his cost to the public.
"I use to stumble around and make a fool of myself outside," said Hagerman, as he relit a day-old cigarette butt in his bare room. "But now I go home and do it here."
[Kudos to Pete Guither.]