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Do you think that all homeless people are either alcoholics or drug addicts? If so, you are not alone. Most homeless individuals are labeled as such. Homelessness and substance abuse are connected, and the truth of the matter is that substance abuse is both a cause and a result of homelessness. This doesn’t mean that all homeless people have problems with substance abuse but many of them do struggle with addiction as well as underlying mental issues.

You see, sometimes substance abuse happens because a person has lost their home due to other factors in their life. They may have lost their home due to an extended illness or they could have lost their job as a result of a bad economy and therefore, could not pay for their home. These individuals may turn to alcohol or drugs as a result of their becoming homeless and not knowing how to cope with their situation. Their substance abuse is because of their homelessness. Then there are others who may have started abusing substances and sank deeper into addiction until they lost their families, jobs, homes, and had nowhere to go but the streets. Their homeless is because of their substance abuse.

The Problems of Homelessness and Substance Abuse

It doesn’t matter how someone arrives in the throes of homelessness and substance abuse until they can get treatment for the substance abuse there will be no way for them to pick themselves up and get out of their life of homelessness and substance abuse. However, to receive treatment for addiction, it helps tremendously to have good insurance benefits that will pay some, if not most, of the charges incurred in an inpatient addiction treatment facility. Needless to say, someone who is homeless and living on the streets does not have good insurance benefits.

Neither does a person who has the problems of homelessness and substance abuse have a good family support system to help them as they transition from treatment into a life of recovery and living drug-free and without alcohol. Many homeless individuals who are dependent on alcohol started drinking at a very young age and were children of alcoholics. Therefore, they have never known a support system even as children. Many of them left home at an early age and ended up on the streets struggling with homelessness and substance abuse.

Homelessness and Mental Issues

With the healthcare system as it is in the United States today and health insurance being what it is, it is almost impossible for patients to have extended stays in hospitals. It seems the policies now in practically all healthcare facilities is to treat the major issue as quickly as possible and release the patient. When this happens to a person with mental health issues, they end up with no housing, living on the streets, and using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. These individuals feel hopeless with no way out of their situation. They either continue on the streets or end up in jail or prison.

Homelessness and Substance Abuse Can be Temporary

If a family member ends up homeless because of substance abuse, it does not have to be a permanent situation. There is help available for them. There are resources available for you to help get your loved one into an inpatient addiction treatment facility. They can be rehabilitated and get back on the right track of sobriety. Many rehab centers help their clients find gainful employment once they have completed their treatment program. So, don’t give up on them. Their situation is not hopeless and they are not doomed to a life of homelessness and substance abuse.

Get professional help for your loved one to start their path to recovery from drugs or alcohol. Do it today!

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