As you probably know, drug addiction isn’t just one problem, it’s many. Abusing drugs often leads to many problems both for abusers and others in their lives. After all, if drug abusers spend all their time locating and using drugs, there’s a good chance that they’re neglecting their families and friends as well as the responsibilities in their lives.
These responsibilities could include their jobs. If drug users take too many absences from work, make frequent mistakes or even hurt someone on the job because of their drug abuse, their workplaces could release them from their jobs. Different laws in different areas determine whether employers can fire their employees for using drugs or seeking treatment for drug problems, depending on different conditions and consequences.
If people lose their jobs, they lose a steady source of income. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trust fund that provides a guaranteed source of money?) If people lose steady incomes, they are not able to pay for the necessities of life, such as shelter. Not surprisingly, then, some drug addicts become homeless.
How many? Well, a 2009 report by the National Coalition for the Homeless stated that 38 percent of homeless people struggled with a dependence on alcohol and 26 percent suffered from the abuse of other drugs. A 2008 survey of U.S. mayors also found that drug and alcohol abuse was the number one reason single adults became homeless.
If people are abusing drugs and alcohol, they’re damaging their health. If people don’t have homes, they are exposing themselves to the weather, other people, and other conditions, they’re subjecting their health to other risks. But they likely don’t have access to adequate health care in the form of a primary care physician, because they lack money, transportation, and other tools.
That’s why seeking treatment for drug or alcohol is so important. It can treat such dependence before it leads to homelessness and other problems.