Addiction and homelessness are connected in a way that can easily be overlooked. Any day, you may come across someone struggling with addiction but not appear to be. You can also come across someone homeless who does not appear to be.
This is why sometimes the connection between addiction and homelessness goes unnoticed. Have you ever heard someone judge a homeless person? They might suggest that the individual got too lazy or just stopped caring about themselves.
However, no one actually stops to ask what exactly happened. It is merely assumed that they gave up. The simple fact is that while they are living on the streets or whatever living space they could stumble upon, they are alive. So it is likely they haven’t quite given up.
Who actually considers the strength it must take to live homelessly? Probably not many. There are probably not many who see living a life on the streets as having strength. Addiction is often looked at the same way.
There is a general assumption that one suffering from addiction was just living recklessly and gave up on life. While in some cases it may seem that way, that is likely always far from the truth. Addiction is a disease, and homelessness is unfortunately a possible side effect of it. Sometimes addiction becomes a side effect of homelessness instead.
Homelessness in California
The state of California is known for its beaches, warm weather, fascinating theme parks, delicious food options, and daydream-worthy scenery. However, there is also a much darker side to this lavish life and free-spirited state.
Results from a study on homelessness and California showed substance abuse and overdose as a leading causes of death in the state. Although these results were obtained from 2015 to 2019, addiction levels have increased since, and it can only be assumed that the homeless population in California has as well.
Due to its size and population, California has a large homeless population. There is a mix of classes in each city and state throughout America. However, the cost of living varies from state to state and there is definitely a shortage of affordable housing in California. So with the cost of living, lack of affordable housing, low wages, and basic needs and responsibilities of an adult homelessness in California is oftentimes the end result of that equation.
A Closer Look at Addiction and Mental Health
As addiction is a disease of the mind, it attacks the mind and affects everything attached to it. Essentially, addiction only takes place once the mind becomes dependent on alcohol or a substance to seemingly survive.
Various factors can contribute to consistent substance and alcohol use. If it becomes a need or insistent desire, it has broken into your mind’s control center. In doing so, it gains power over you and your actions. The alcohol or substances you are now dependent on are all you can think of and it is as if nothing else matters.
Mental health maintenance is so important because it determines what you think, feel, say, and do. When something outside of you has control or total influence over you, you lose the ability to be yourself. Addiction causes you to become a shell of yourself and present yourself in ways that you would not if you were cognisant.
The Connection Between Addiction and Homelessness
Life comes with many twists and turns that can cause you to wind up in situations that you never imagined. When you experience poor mental health, it is easy to use substances to cope. However, sometimes addiction takes you down such a depleting path that you are left with nothing more than yourself and the clothes on your back.
Many individuals that are homeless in California struggle with some form of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder. As mental health conditions can lead to or develop from homelessness, substance use disorders and homelessness often coexist.
How Treatment Can Help Combat Addiction and Homelessness
Treatment offers resources that can assist you with addiction as well as homelessness. Here at Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we offer residential (in-patient) treatment. Addiction can cause some to need 24/7 care for treatment, which can be beneficial for recovery and homelessness.
With this form of treatment, you are given the opportunity to gain life skills that can help you heal and recover mentally. In recovering mentally, you will be able to use the resources provided to you to find a good job and affordable housing.
Laguna Shores Recovery Center wants to help you relearn life skills in treatment to get back on your feet. Here, you will be surrounded by love and a community of people who understand where you are and how you got there. Let us help you find recovery and rebuild your life.
Homelessness and addiction can sometimes go hand in hand. There are times when addiction may lead to homelessness. There are also times when homelessness can lead to substance use disorders. In states such as California where the population factored in with the cost of living and affordable housing, many individuals are living on the streets. The weight of having nowhere to live, even if living in a shelter, can have a negative effect on you. Those negative effects can lead to addiction, if you were already using substances or not. There are facilities that treat addiction and help you gain the skills to cope with and resolidify your life. For more information, call Laguna Shores Recovery Center at (866) 774-1532.