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Videos: Substance Use & Addiction
The relationship between substance use and homelessness is complex. While rates of substance use are disproportionately high among the homeless population, homelessness cannot be explained by substance use alone. The use of substances alone does not necessarily signal addiction, nor a harmful or problematic lifestyle. In addition, many people who are addicted to substances never become homeless, but an individual that is experiencing housing instability, often due to low income, has an increased risk of losing their housing if they use substances. Once on the streets, an individual with substance use issues has little chance of getting housing as they face insurmountable barriers to obtaining health care, including substance use treatment services and recovery supports.

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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services