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Sweat Ring or Kill Pill
Doing breathalyzer tests over the phone used to be the way officials kept tabs on people in Multnomah County's DUII Intensive Supervision Program, otherwise known as DISP. At the start of today's program we heard from a man who had found DISP's electronic monitoring and random phone calls requiring immediate alcohol tests invasive enough that they cured him of drinking and driving.
That's old technology. Now the program uses bracelets that measure the amount of alcohol in someone's blood continuously through their sweat. The long name is Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitors — SCRAM units, for short. Judge Eric Bloch, who used to oversee the DISP program in Multnomah County, told us after the show that the invasive system can be a help for people who never thought they could quit drinking. Not everyone likes using them though, and some look for ways around the monitor.
It reminded me of something I heard about several times when I was studying in the Soviet Union many years ago. Supposedly there was a pill (or maybe it was an injection?) that was given to chronic alcoholics who'd gotten in trouble with the law. If it was in your system and you drank even a drop of alcohol, you'd die. Or maybe get violently ill. There are no links in this paragraph because I can't verify this beyond my memory, but even as a rumor it left an impression.