Homelessness should be addressed alongside substance use

Homelessness in the U.S. has been a significant problem for decades and communities have struggled to find solutions. Co-occurring disorders and homelessness have become an epidemic in society. There has been an increase of deaths from overdoses in Maryland over the years. There has also been lack of housing for individuals who suffer from addiction.

An article you posted in January addresses homelessness and addiction in Maryland. It was good to see that the governor of Maryland is addressing the needs of individuals who suffer from addiction and homelessness. The article, “Hogan administration seeks to expand funding for addiction treatment, overdose prevention” (Jan. 10), sheds light on how prevalent overdoses are in Maryland and some reasons why overdoses are increasing. It was found that part of the increase is due to people leaving prison and overdosing because they are not receiving medicated assisted treatment in prison for their addiction.

Also, people are being released from prison with no home to go to. This is also contributing to the increase of homelessness in the state. I urge the public to support shelters by donating food, clothes,money and toiletries. Also, volunteer your time in shelters and in the community. Advocate with your local legislation for more funding for shelters and substance abuse and mental health programs. This is a call for action to help eliminate homelessness in Maryland. We all must advocate for programs for substance abuse and more shelters. No one should be living on the street and overdosing from drugs. Let’s make a change together.

Justice Simmons,

The student is pursuing her masters in social work.

Article Date: 
Monday, April 22, 2019