Imagine this: You get to work, and instead of your boss handing you a list of things to do, he hands you two cans of beer. It may seem a little far-fetched, but in Amsterdam it’s a reality.

According to The Times, the Rainbow Foundation in Amsterdam funds and manages a project that pays alcoholics in beer for working full days of cleaning city streets. At 9 a.m., they start their work day with two cans of beer. Then, at lunch, the workers are given a hot meal served with two cans of beer. And finally, at 3p.m, when the work day is done, they get another can of beer.

"This group of chronic alcoholics was causing a nuisance in Amsterdam's Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women," Gerrie Holterman, who heads the Rainbow Foundation project, told The Times. "The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park."

The group of about 10 men gets paid more than just alcohol, though. In all, for a day’s work, the workers get paid about $13, a half-pack of rolling tobacco, and five cans of beer. But is feeding their addiction a moral way to combat anti-social behavior?

The Mayo Clinic describes alcoholism as a “chronic and often progressive disease.” It involves a preoccupation with alcohol so severe that it interferes with relationships, employment, and finances. Alcoholics tend to lose interest in activities that used to bring them pleasure, focusing solely on the pursuit of alcohol. Though the cause of the disease is hard to pinpoint, genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors have all been found to contribute to it. Treatment for alcoholism ranges from psychological counseling to oral medication. But most treatments involve detoxification and separation from alcohol, in order to break way from the unhealthy pattern.

Moral questions and medical advice aside, the men who participate in the program say that they are happy to be a part of it because it helps to give their lives structure without depriving them of the alcohol that they believe they need.

"We need alcohol to function, that's the disadvantage of chronic alcoholism," said Frank, a program participant. “Lots of us haven't had any structure in our lives for years, we just don't know what it is, and so this is good for us.”

And Holterman, too, sees the project as a public service for all parties involved.

"They're no longer in the park, they drink less, they eat better and they have something to keep them busy during the day," she said.