Credible estimates of the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse suggest that alcohol abuse affects 30% to 40% and drug abuse 10% to 15% of homeless persons. A review of policies that address substance abuse among the homeless finds that interventions alternate between control and rehabilitation. However, the unique needs of a changing homeless population require an integration of alcoholism and drug abuse recovery services with programs for women, adolescents, and the mentally ill. Alcohol- and drug-free housing is essential to support and maintain recovery. Psychology can contribute in the development of effective programs for homeless individuals struggling with addiction and alcoholism.
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