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HOMELESSNESS HOW MANY?

Homelessness, it is a big problem here in the United States. It is difficult to precisely target how many people living without a home have drug and alcohol abuse problems. Furthermore, drug and alcohol use and homelessness are related according to whether or not a person is without a home for a short term or long term.


It's not bad luck, mental illness that is causing a rise in the this population, but a rise in substance abuse.When we look at the situation back in 1980, cocaine use was virtually nonexistent. It is clearly the drug of choice today. And it's not just any form of cocaine. These people who abuse cocaine almost unanimously use crack cocaine.

WHAT COMES FIRST?

It is safe to say that addiction comes first. If a person is an addict, most likely they lost their home because of their addiction.


While people who abuse drugs and alcohol make up a relatively small share of the homeless population, they consume more emergency and transitional shelters and occupy hospitals and jails at high rates.


For decades, researchers have been examining the dynamics of addicts and substance abuse. While estimates of alcohol and drug rates among the homeless vary considerably, there is agreement among experts that homeless people have much higher rates of substance abuse than the general population.


It is easy for most of us to imagine how problem substance use could lead to being homeless. After all, if using alcohol or other drugs becomes more important than a person's work, health, and relationships, it would logically follow that they might lose these important social and economic supports in their lives.

There is nothing new about the idea that people on the street self-medicate to relieve life's stresses. After all,the non-homeless population also uses more alcohol and other drugs when they have trouble coping in their world.


Nor is it surprising to learn that alcohol consumption is key to acceptance in the homeless subculture. Our mainstream teen subculture, for instance, practices a similar kind of ritual.


Far too often, however, there has been a stronger emphasis on substance abuse and addictions treatment,than on providing other support services to substance users, including those who live on the street.


If housing, treatment and other social agencies work together toward developing a comprehensive response to the problems of homeless substance users, the whole community will benefit.

Go From Homelessness To Alcohol

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states the nation's veterans are predominantly male, withroughly five percent being female. The majority of them are single; come from urban areas;suffer from mental illness,alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About one third of the adult population are veterans.


It has been determined that 56 percent of all veterans are African Americans or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 12.8 percent and 15.4 percent of the U.S. population.


In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness---extreme shortage of affordable housing,livable income and access to health care--a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

Go From Homelessness To Crack

Alcohol use among older adults (65+) is thought to be one of the fastest growing health problems in thecountry. Although proper assessment and diagnosis is crucial in addressing problem drinking. It appears that physicians are not adequately screening their older adult patients for alcohol use.


It is well known that drug abuse and alcoholism have devastating effects on a person. It's not unusual for someone to lose their jobs, friends, and family because of an addiction. Some people, however, hit rock bottom, as many would consider it, when they lose everything and end up living on the streets.

Hundreds of people live around every large city in our country. Some areas have become havens for those who are down and out, and sometimes these people form camps or colonies for safety and companionship.


These people hide out in forests, or in parks, eating scraps, or begging for food or money. Their beds are benches,or the ground, and they may build fires in garbage cans to keep warm.


The people around the country come from all different backgrounds. Not all were born in this condition or even poor.Many of them at one time held decent jobs, some had families; none of them expected to be where they are today.

In order to help these people, we need to provide them with housing,food, and treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders. Once a person is living indoors and does not have to worry about their own personal safety or where their next meal will come from, they can start working on their future.


Many of these people,however, don't get the treatment they need to get clean when they are without homes. Lack of resources from local authorities has led to poor facilities and programs for these groups. Many people go through the motions of staying at a shelter until their time is used up there, then they move back out on the streets.With the right help, these people can break the cycle and begin putting their lives together.

Go To Solution For Homelessness