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The Relationship between Homelessness and Opium Addiction

The Relationship between Homelessness and Opium AddictionOpium-based drugs factor into many cases of homelessness. Both prescription and illicit opiates contribute to mental health issues and descents into poverty, but homelessness and mental health issues may also result in opiate abuse. Either way, homelessness and addiction have an undeniable connection. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug overdose contributed to 17 percent of deaths that occurred among a group of 28,000 current or former homeless individuals. Of those 17 percent, 81 percent involved opioids. Additionally, a report from the Center for Disease Control states that in 2008 the US suffered more than 15,000 deaths from opiate abuse. This is a serious issue that requires professional help.

How Is Homelessness Related to Opium Addiction?

Opium is a narcotic that makes up many drugs. Heroin is an illicit form of opium, while oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and other opiate painkillers have legitimate medical uses. Opium in any form is a powerful substance that causes euphoria and a sense of well-being. It directly affects the brain and is highly addictive, making it a harmful substance that can devastate people. Ruined relationships, loss of employment and poor health can result from opium use. Opium addicts are often willing to make great sacrifices to obtain more of the drug, so they may become homeless as a result – especially if physical and mental health problems resulted from the addiction. Opium addiction exacerbates mental health issues, because it can cause the following problems:

  • Confusion
  • Impaired memory
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis

Some people do not struggle with opium abuse until they become homeless. Opium can temporarily ease the pain caused by broken relationships, poverty, physical health problems and psychological issues. However, as many homeless people face these issues because of opium abuse, others turn to opium to escape emotional turmoil. Continued use feeds the cycle of homelessness and mental health issues.

Treatment for Homeless Opium Addicts

While homeless drug addicts face many challenges to receiving addiction treatment, increased awareness of their problems has improved health services for the homeless. Accessible health care means treatment programs engage users for the duration of treatment, and it also offers mental health resources, since many of them suffer from physical and psychological conditions at the same time.

Help for Homeless Opium Addicts

If you or a loved one is addicted to opium, then please call our toll-free helpline to speak with an addiction counselor about treatment. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find treatment, so please call today to begin reclaiming your life.