The Link Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Leading to Homelessness

Table of contents

According to the article, “The connections between substance abuse and mental illness”, it says that one of the biggest connection between substance abuse and mental illness is self-medicating. People want to medicate or numb the issues they are facing by using drugs or alcohol. The article gave an example that a depressed person may use marijuana to numb the pain, or a person who has social anxiety might drink to feel more comfortable in social situations. When dealing with a mental illness or alcoholism, it’s important that the person struggling gets both issues addressed so they can be dealt with at the same time.

The article also states that the untreated symptoms of mental illness can make it difficult for a person who is in recovery to remain clean and sober. Untreated substance abuse will and can make mental health treatment ineffective. In this article, it only talked about the connection between substance abuse and mental illness; but, one could say these two could lead to homelessness. Understanding the reasons why people become homeless may help connect the other two factors and how they tie together. Most people become homeless because of illness, disability, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, divorce, depression and mental illness; these are all factors of why one is homeless.

According to the article stated above, “substance abuse is a result of homelessness rather than a cause. People that become homeless often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their situations(the connection between mental illness and substance abuse)”. This argument makes sense if you’re in a situation like this and are feeling a loss of hope; self-medicating gives them temporary relief. Researchers explain the correlation between mental illness and substance abuse, but not the correlation between all three. For example, mental illness and substance abuse both need to be addressed; without these issues being addressed this could cause a spiral downhill which in result could end with people being homeless.

According to an article Substance Abuse and Homelessness “Two-thirds of homeless people reported that drugs/alcohol were major reasons for their becoming homeless”. This quote shows that mental illness and substance abuse are two major issues that need to be handled before we can even address homelessness. If two-thirds (of homeless people) report that substance abuse is the cause to becoming homelessness, getting them resources they need to help them, we could possibly have less homeless people.

In my local area, I know of one homeless shelter which is the Harmony House. The policy there is you cannot be currently addicted to drugs or alcohol, you must be completely clean and sober prior to coming to the house and must remain that way during your time of stay. If caught abusing the policy you are put out. One other resource in the Mansfield area that is available to people is Mansfield Residential Treatment which requires inpatient treatment for twenty-four hours providing you with a variety of different treatment options; this type of program is more for people who have a severe addiction problem.

The second resource is Mansfield Partial Hospitalization program which allows patients to travel to a treatment facility during the day and receive treatment, this way you can still live at home and still get the help you need. The last resource is Mansfield Outpatient Program still able to receive treatment without having to spend a lot of time in facilities.

I think giving homeless people shelter first is a good idea, I believe you’ve got to tackle one issue at the time. The first issue that needs to be addressed is getting homeless people off the streets where they have the easier to drugs and alcohol. After they are off the streets, let’s get them the help and resources they need for their mental illness, addiction, or both whatever the case may be. But there is no way one will even want the help if they are not even stable with food, clothes and shelter. Turning our backs on them is only going to make the situation much worse. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world and our community. Government and private organizations should provide funding for developing and running homeless shelters. With the government’s assistance with funding I think we could get a lot more people off the street, sober, back on their feet and working again. When people hit a rough patch and lose it all, that does not mean we close the door on them.

What Can Social Workers Do?

Social workers need to advocate for homeless people and help others recognize the issues and human rights. The article, “Social workers role in ending the criminalization of homelessness: Opportunities for actions”, states the following,” Social workers must promote the recognition and protection of the human rights of people experiencing homelessness. One way to achieve these goals is through legal advocacy to challenge the unconstitutionality of anti-homeless laws” (Aykanian, A., & Wonhyung, L). Social workers are to be a support system for those who are homeless. Instead of arresting people for being homeless, let’s provide them safety and security. For the time being, let’s create a system that protects them.

For example, Rhode Island and Illinois created a bill of rights that protect homeless people from being arrested for being homeless. They also have access to transitional shelters along with free storage for those who are experiencing homelessness. On a micro level, social workers can meet with each homeless person or families individually and see what situation they are in: how they became homeless and examine how they are acting, do they appear under the influence, withdrawn do they appear to have a mental illness, looking for these and taking mental notes could help us figure out what’s the next step and which resources to provide for them.

On a macro level, social workers could bring community members and law enforcement together and educate them on homeless people; I do not think enough people understand that homeless people need help and it could happen to anybody no matter what your socioeconomic status is. In the article stated above it claims, “Furthermore, homeless individuals are often incarcerated for low-level crimes and offensive behavior” (Fitzpatrick & Myrstol, 2011). In fact, homeless people are commonly incarcerated for violating nuisance ordinances, such as camping without a permit, begging, and public intoxication (Aykanian, A., & Wonhyung, L.)”.

People are so quick to incarcerate the homeless instead of getting them help and resources they need. These insignificant crimes are not enough to lock someone up; why take up jail space for such minor crimes when that space could be used for people are out committing more severe crimes? Locking homeless people up for being homeless is not fair and will not fix the situation. On the topic of helping at a macro level, the article states, “social workers could also help reduce the stereotypes that people have on homeless people through public awareness campaign to address negative public sentiment or attitude” (Aykanian, A., & Wonhyung, L).

Since mezzo falls right in between macro and micro, social workers could talk to the council of a community and see if their could be someway they could fund alternatives for homeless people, that meet basic needs such as using the bathroom, showering etc. For example,” in an effort to reduce arrests for public urination, Portland, Oregon, built four solar-powered 24-hour public restrooms, providing a cost-effective benefit to homeless people and the general public” (Aykanian, A., & Wonhyung, L.). Thats one simple step that could reduce arrest for the homeless. It’s the simple changes that could make a difference, one step at a time.

What Can You Do?

As an individual, I would address the issues of substance abuse and mentally ill homeless people in my community by starting an education support group, that would educate people about what substance abuse is, what mental illness is and what kind of a toll it takes on people. I think the poeple in the community need to be more aware and understanding of people who are homeless and battling addiction and mental illnesses. In an article, “The role of functional social support in treatment retention and outcomes it said there were three kinds of support groups that was supportive to people in some way. “The older patients group which was for 55 years or older, A women’s group and occupational therapy (Dobkin, P. L., Civita, M. D., Paraherakis, A., & Gill, K)”. These all relate someway back to mental health and substance abuse.

The barriers that might come in between are not being able to have an open location to start this support group, people not caring enough and not showing up, and simply not being educated enough. To reduce these barriers I could definitely get out in my community more and educated myself on homelessness as well as do my research and talk to people personally who are affected by this and ask them what they would like to see done in the community.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work
Customer 452773, October 19th, 2023
excellent work
Customer 452773, October 6th, 2023
Leadership Studies
excellent job
Customer 452773, August 26th, 2023
Thank you for your hard work and help.
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Criminal Justice
This has been the greatest help while I am recovering from an illness. Thank your team so much.
Customer 452671, May 2nd, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work and effort. Made a 96 out of 125 points Lacked information from the rubic
Customer 452773, October 27th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Thank you
Customer 452773, March 19th, 2023
Love this writer!!! Great work
Customer 452597, April 5th, 2021
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent, great job
Customer 452773, June 19th, 2023
thank you so much
Customer 452749, June 10th, 2021
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp