Drug use here in Newport, California as well as across southern California produces many consequences for those that suffer from alcohol and drug dependence.  One such consequence is homelessness.  Homelessness and drug and alcohol abuse often seem to go hand in hand.  Sometimes the drug abuse comes after the person or family becomes homeless, though many times the state of homelessness is caused by the drug and alcohol abuse.

A 2008 survey conducted by the US Conference of Mayors asked the mayors of 25 cities their top three causes of homelessness.  Drug abuse topped the list as the number one cause of homelessness.  A 2007 study found that two-thirds of homeless people report that drugs and/or alcohol were a major reason for them becoming homeless (Didenko and Pankratz 2007).

The problem is much worse in California than other states.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report found that southern California remains home to the largest homeless population in the country.  Not much changed in its 2014 report with it finding that the five major city areas with the highest rates of unsheltered homelessness were all located in California. San Jose/Santa Clara City and County reported the highest rate, with three quarters of its homeless population staying in unsheltered locations.

The problems faced by the homeless exacerbate by certain circumstances.  A main issue that hinders efforts to rehabilitate homeless is the catch-22 that many of them face due to their underlying psychological issues.   Many public psychiatric facilities do not treat drug addiction and many publically funded drug treatment facilities do not treat mental disorders.  This leaves homeless people with a much higher chance of relapse.

Besides drug and alcohol treatment and psychiatric services, it is also imperative that those individuals also receive job training, have community involvement and develop a network of support in order to help reduce the occurrence of relapse.