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The Link Between Addiction and Homelessness

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The Link Between Addiction and Homelessness

Addiction and Homelessness


link betweenSome homeless people are addicts and some addicts are homeless. But, what exactly is the link between the two? Do all homeless people become addicts? And are all addicts homeless?

There are a lot of reasons to become homeless. It’s a sad situation to be in, especially the first day or week being homeless. 

On any given day, there can be 643,067 homeless on the streets.

It can change every day, every week and in every season depending on personal life circumstances. 25% of the homeless suffer from a mental illness which can include schizophrenia and/or an alcohol or drug addiction. And while the root cause is because of income and housing costs, drug/alcohol addiction play a big part of the homelessness in America as well.

Drug/alcohol addiction can cause and result homelessness. Not all homeless people are addicts, but a lot of them are. And it’s easy to blame or judge them, but in reality it’s an illness. Professionals should help stop their addiction with treatment, counseling and support. 

link betweenSubstance abuse is the single largest cause of homelessness for single adults. Addictive behavior can cause relationships to fall apart, they can lose their housing, struggle to pay their bills, and lose their jobs. In the end, they could be living on the streets and buying drugs because they aren’t making enough money to live on their own. 

Substance abuse is also a result of homelessness. Once someone becomes homeless, they could turn to drugs/alcohol as a coping mechanism with their situation. Homeless people might also be influenced to do drugs and alcohol, so they feel accepted into the homeless community. 

The big reasons for homelessness is the cost of living and drug addiction. Since we don’t have control over the cost of living, we need to help the drug society by planning their intervention to go to rehab.


25% suffer from mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addiction and depression

17% are considered chronically homeless

13% are fleeing domestic violence

12% are veterans



If you are mentally ill, suffering an addiction, or physically disabled, low income and high housing costs are the root cause for homelessness. There isn’t a single city where you can work a full-time, 40 hour week at minimum wage and afford a 1 bedroom apartment. It’s a devastating situation to be in, and it’s the main cause of homelessness. 

People who live a “doubled up” lifestyle means that they are staying with friends, family or non-relatives for economical reasons. Living doubled-up is becoming increasingly popular, rising 50% from 2005 to 2010. 

Homeless Health

It’s no surprise that health declines when you become homeless. You face challenges every day that involve hunger, sleep and personal hygiene.

It’s more challenging when you become dependant on drugs.

Your overall health is declining, there’s more difficulty finding food, shelter and clothing, and it’s harder to find employment. 

Employment is a struggle towards the substance abuse society because employers don’t want to hire addicts. Addicts have to overcome the struggle of not working, which makes their lifestyle harder to manage. 

Addiction is a disease. When you are addicted, it’s hard to stop.

In a 2013 Study: Homeless Children are 60% More Likely to Use Drugs.

75% of street youths were using marijuana.
52% of sheltered youths were using marijuana.
67% of homeless youth in shelters were using alcohol.
26% of street youths and eight percent of sheltered youths were using crack cocaine.
64% youth with homes used alcohol
25% youth with homes smoked marijuana
2% youth with homes used crack cocaine
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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, give us a call. We pride ourselves in helping those with substance abuse problems get better. Call us at 855-737-7363 for a free and confidential assessment.

Posted in Addiction, Alcoholism, Culture, Drug Addiction, Health and Wellness