The Relationship between Homelessness and Ritalin Addiction

The Relationship between Homelessness and Ritalin Addiction

In 2010 the New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) reported that homelessness in America can be chronic, episodic or situational, and each pattern of homelessness can relate to addiction. Addiction can lead to unstable housing, especially from losing a home due to job loss, spending money on drugs rather than rent or eviction due to involvement in the drug culture. Addiction can also result from unstable housing, as people who face homelessness due to financial stress often turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope. In either case, homelessness has become a generational problem for some families.

How Homelessness Begins

The beginnings of America’s homeless population can be traced to the 1960s, as patterns of behavior changed and more people experimented with drugs. The aforementioned OASAS report found that the epidemic of addiction during those years touched all races, classes and socio-economic groups, and this exploded into homelessness. Homeless Vietnam veterans were joined by adult men and women who were released from mental institutions, as well as young people who “aged out” of foster care. Modern homelessness now encompasses Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, who join many Vietnam veterans who deal with disenfranchisement from drug addiction. Episodic homelessness can now be traced for at least three generations in many families.

How Homelessness Relates to Addiction

Being able to trace homelessness back 50 years has helped state governments understand the connection between unstable housing and addiction. People with a family or personal history of addiction are more likely to become homeless than those from a non-addictive background. Children now make up a large percent of the homeless population, because they follow their addicted parents from shelter to shelter and learn a life that entails it and drug abuse. This creates a new problem, as generational homelessness is producing young people who know no other way of life. Groups like New York’s OASAS work with this group of homeless families by providing rehab, affordable housing and stable jobs. By providing Permanent Supportive Housing, groups like OASAS are working to address the needs of these individuals while strengthening community economics.

Homelessness and Ritalin

The homeless problem takes on a slightly different challenge with Ritalin addiction. Ritalin controls the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, so adults who use Ritalin may have been diagnosed with the disorder at very young ages. Over time, doctors increase the dosages to deal with the changes in a patient’s weight and behavior, but somewhere along the way users may abuse the drug and become addicted. When addicted, people use the drug in larger amounts than prescribed, which can lead to drug-seeking behaviors like stealing or doctor shopping. In this way, a drug meant to help now controls the individual, which can lead to losing a job, family and home.

Help for Homeless Ritalin Addicts

Ritalin is highly addictive, and it can cause serious problems if people use it in higher amounts or for longer than prescribed. If you or a loved one struggles with Ritalin addiction, know that we are here to help you. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to answer your questions about addiction and to help you find treatment.