Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘homeless’

Is LA’s Homeless Crisis Fueled By Mental Health and Addiction?

Posted on: October 17th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Is LA’s Homeless Crisis Fueled By Mental Health and Addiction?

According to The Addiction Center in 2017, there were approximately 554,000 homeless people in the United States. Many believe the number to be much higher due to the challenges in accurate data collection. The number of homeless increases each year, especially within the younger age demographic.

Causes of Homelessness

Although substance abuse can lead to homelessness, in many cases the end result of homelessness is substance abuse. Unfortunately, homelessness and addiction do often go hand in hand across age and ethnic groups. Other common causes are the result of a financial hardship including job loss, home forecloses and a lack of affordable healthcare or housing.  According to Harvard Health, “The mentally ill and people addicted to alcohol or drugs are the first victims of housing shortages.”

The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) also lists addiction and mental illness as “two of the primary personal factors that lead to financial instability and the loss of permanent housing.” It is also important to note there do exist homeless individuals who do not have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Although rates of substance use are disproportionately high among those experiencing homelessness, homelessness cannot be explained by substance use alone as many people who suffer from addiction never become homeless

Mental health

Those experiencing homelessness may also develop mental health issues due to the harsh lifestyle. Not only do individuals who are homeless  generally face hunger and a lack of shelter, they also experience violence, sexual assault and many forms of harassment.

Homeless women suffer from gender-based trauma which in turn results in higher amounts of drug use compared to homeless men. The majority of homeless women also suffer from mental and emotional disturbances that often develop even before they become homeless.

Some mental health issues that homeless people experience include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Paranoia/Delusions/Disorentiation
  • Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

The Cycle Continues

Without proper shelter, security and a lack of access to affordable treatment for substance abuse and mental health care, the homeless population continue deeper into the destructive cycle of abuse and often relentlessly withdraw from mainstream society.

There are numerous programs and continuous efforts to “solve the homeless crisis” but those involved face many challenges. Recently, Mayor Eric Garcetti allocated funding to emergency shelters with “A Bridge Home” program for those waiting to be placed in a more permanent form of housing. However, connecting those in need with these services are hard because of the widespread substance abuse and mental illness. The timing and bureaucracy of finding solutions also pushes those away.

Stigma

Unfortunately, negative narratives and a general misunderstanding of homelessness continuously lead to an ongoing negative stigma. Many believe the end to homelessness starts with the end of the homeless stigma. When attitudes are shifted and more people are informed of the causes and challenges, they can treat those experiencing homelessness with empathy and respect.

References:

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/homelessness/

https://www.dailynews.com/2019/10/07/a-new-look-at-las-homeless-count-numbers-has-some-wondering-if-there-will-be-a-shift-in-conversation-around-mental-illness-drug-addiction/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The_homeless_mentally_ill

 

Seeing a Family Member Homeless

Posted on: December 19th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Seeing a Family Member Homeless

When someone in the family has an addiction, loved ones often feel helpless and don’t know what to do to change their behavior. Sometimes the addict reaches their lowest point and may end up on the street, homeless because their addiction has become out of control. If this happens, it is crucial for the family to step in and help them recover before their situation gets worse.

Homeless people very frequently suffer from drug or alcohol addiction and the prognosis for living on the street for an addict is not good. They could get into dangerous situations and their health and wellbeing will suffer greatly. Loved ones might feel panicked and afraid when they find out that a family member is homeless and their initial reaction may be to take them into their home.

However, the first thing to think about when helping a family member from homelessness is how to address their addiction. Once you make sure they are safe, it is then time to start researching shelters and recovery programs that are designed to help homeless people with addictions. Getting them into some kind of treatment should be your first priority once you get them off of the street.

Once you do some research into the best treatment plan for them, make sure to drop them off and accompany them when they enter the facility. Since they most likely have hit rock bottom as a result of their homelessness, they may already understand how important it is for them to quit their substance abuse. It can also be helpful to check in on their progress, attend family therapy sessions and be supportive throughout their recovery program.

When an addict becomes homeless, they are at their most desperate point and need your help. Most importantly they also need professional treatment to get back on their feet.

My Family Member is an Addict and Homeless

Posted on: April 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Addict and Homeless Family Member

It is painful and devastating for loved ones when a family member has an addiction. It is even worse when they hit rock bottom and end up in a difficult financial situation. Homelessness is an unfortunate reality for many people that are struggling with a very severe drug addiction.

If you have a family member whose addiction has become so out of control that they have lost their job or their home then it is important to get them help as soon as possible. The chances of them surviving and getting back on their feet without any assistance are slim. However, it is important to have a plan about addressing their addiction before you step in and rescue them.

Taking your loved on off the streets is more helpful if you are able to give them the tools they need to get sober and become financially independent again. Avoid simply taking care of them or enabling them because it will only make the situation worse. Even though it may be difficult to talk about you need to get them into treatment for their own well-being.

There are many addiction recovery programs created for homeless people that need to get sober and find work again. Research all the available options so that you will be prepared to discuss treatment with your family member. You can take your loved one directly to a shelter or recovery program so that they can get the help that they need.

Addiction is a challenging issue and overcoming homelessness can make it even more complicated. However getting your loved one into treatment will be an important first step to help them re-enter society. Recovery can be a long and difficult process for them but with treatment and support they will be able to survive and live a fulfilling life again.