The skyrocketing homeless problem in California has created a public health disaster. For example, there are an estimated 44,000 plus people living on the streets of Los Angeles. With the rising homeless problem, diseases such as typhus have re-emerged due to the rats, and people are becoming violent. Along with the homeless problem comes wide-spread drug addiction and substance abuse issues. When you live on the streets and are abusing drugs there is a greater risk for contracting the disease and other ailments. You do not have access to stable housing and support, treatment, and medical resources. It becomes an endless cycle that many homeless people are unable to get out of. Drug addiction does make the homeless problem worse because when you abuse drugs you lose the interest to do anything else.
Substance abuse takes everything away from you and you become consumed emotionally and physically by the drugs. Solutions such as transitional housing are often recognized as a good approach. These are often provided through emergency shelters and supportive recovery facilities. However, these housing options require abstinence from drugs to accept clients. Most homeless who are addicted to drugs fail to qualify for these programs. They end up remaining on the street back in the same cycle of addiction. If they do manage to get to treatment, the lack of support and housing options forces many homeless to go back to the street if they have not managed to find work.
There are many reasons why people who are homeless never get over their drug or alcohol addiction. Issues such as reduced penalties for drug offenses, handouts form well-intended people who want to help but end up enabling, contribute to addicts choosing to stay on drugs. There is also the struggle to find work that pays well and finding affordable housing. An addict cannot fully kick his or her habit without taking full personal responsibility for their addiction. Many people who are homeless are not willing to do this and often need some form of intervention.