Will Work For Food
by bfost1 on March 14, 2014 - 10:50pm
In an investigation that took place between April 2003 and March 2004, 5,629 people were studied to find the relationship between substance abuse, income, human capital, mental health, social support, and homelessness. The investigation was done by the Drug Evaluation Network System. DENS is a computer-assisted admission interview designed to collect information on clients entering addiction treatment programs in the United States (Eyrich-Garg, Cacciola, Carise, Lynch & McLellan, 2008). 158 programs participated. The sample of people were broken into four groups; people that were literally homeless, marginally housed, housed but poor, and housed but not poor. The results showed that the majority (55%) of the people that entered addiction programs were the people that were housed but poor (Eyrich-Garg, Cacciola, Carise, Lynch & McLellan, 2008). To me, this makes sense because if they have a house, they obviously had a source of income and can afford more drugs, but because of it, are now poor. It makes sense that homeless people can’t afford to have an addiction as much as someone who has a job. The results don’t show this though. The group that spent the most money on drugs and alcohol was the people that were literally homeless. It was then followed by the marginally housed. It seems to me that many of the homeless people now, may have started out the way that this majority of the sample is going. They probably had a house and had money, but had an addiction that led them to become homeless. The results also show that the majority (43%) who were in the programs were minority males. Minority females were second with 36% (Eyrich-Garg, Cacciola, Carise, Lynch & McLellan, 2008).
The main purpose of this article was to point out all of the possible correlations between substance abuse and homelessness. It shows how income, human capital, mental health, and social support, are factors that have effects on the results. The most important information in the article is what the results show. The author wants readers to understand that the results show that addiction programs need to target the group of marginally housed people in an attempt to save them from a very possible outcome of becoming homeless. The main assumption that the author is taking for granted is that the group that is housed but poor may not be the biggest group with addictions. It may just be that they are the ones that are the most common to enter an addiction program. Also, this is still a very small sample being used compared to the actual number of substance abusers in the United States. If we take this seriously, many people can be saved from becoming homeless. If we do not do something about it, many people may die either from the drug abuse itself, or from being homeless. One of the main conclusions that this article shows is that income is not the main reason that substance addicted homeless people are homeless.
Eyrich-Garg, K. M., Cacciola, J. S., Carise, D., Lynch, K. G., & McLellan, A. T. (2008). Individual characteristics of the literally homeless, marginally housed, and impoverished in a US substance abuse treatment-seeking sample. . Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 43(10), 831-842. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-008-0371-8