Homelessness & Addiction

Homelessness & addiction

What associations do you make when you hear the word homeless? 

More than likely you imagine a man on the sidewalk next to a shopping cart filled with junk. A hardened, wrinkled face, with frizzy gray hair, tattered jeans and a brown bag in his hand. Possibly accompanied by a shaggy dog. This is what is portrayed to the masses as the embodiment of homelessness, for a large portion of the homeless community it is accurate. This idea of a homeless person makes sense, it is real to people and most importantly it is remote. When viewing homelessness in this way it seems the farthest thing from you. However, in today’s climate, homelessness has taken on a new face which is much closer than you think.

One in three Americans are a paycheck away from homelessness. That is an incredibly razor-thin margin of error for 33% of the population. It is not uncommon for one of those 33% of Americans to face an unexpected expense such as a car breakdown, rent increase, or hospital bill. This is a real occurrence that puts thousands of Americans on the street every year. Once you find yourself in this situation reintegration into society can be difficult.

There is a secondary factor that is very prevalent in the homeless community, drug addiction.. On the subject of drug addiction, there are 19.7 million Americans that have battled addiction at one point or another and 567,000 Americans experiencing homelessness. There is a serious amount of overlap in these two points of datum. The drug epidemic currently going on and rise in homelessness are directly related.

It can be incredibly hard to gain traction in your pursuits when on the street. Lack of resources can make it difficult to find shelter, food and other basic necessities. Lack of options for hygiene can make it hard to find a job and therefore secure an income to help shelter you. Coupled with the difficulties one faces when addicted to drugs makes it increasingly difficult to climb out of the situation one has found themselves in.

The drastic change in circumstance and drop in quality of life can send people further down the rabbit hole of addiction. It is not easy to accept the terms of your situation and drugs can remove you very thoroughly for a time. However, the dissociative effects of drugs wear off and you will be forced to deal with the present time.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is the point that is necessary to reach if you are to be able to recover from your current situation. In this state, you can confront your current state of affairs and make progress to move upwards. Homelessness is not just the lack of a living arrangement; it is a state of mind. Most have the capability to break back into the society they have fallen out from.

There are many processes in which one could return to normalcy. If you have a network of friends and family, then it can be as simple as reaching out for support. Make your decision to improve your standing and denounce your drug addiction known to your friends and family. Look to make amends and seek help in finding a shelter or treatment center. If you are estranged from family or have no support network, your local social worker or city relief program would be the next option. They can also place you in a care facility and empower you to reach your potential.

No matter how difficult life gets, remember that you are worth it. There are always options there. The first step is confronting your actions and making an intentful decision to turn your life around. You must decide for yourself that you are worth the effort. If you or a loved one need help with addiction please call our team.



Jessica Bradham

Jessica is a Registered Drug and Alcohol Technician with a desire to help others find real solutions to the ever-growing problems associated with addiction.