Title of Abstract

Reducing Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Among the Homeless Population.

Submitting Student(s)

Jemia Wiggins

Session Title

Vulnerable Populations 2

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Virginia Williams, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Abstract

Currently in the United States over 630,000 people are homeless and 100 million homeless people worldwide. Homelessness is a social, economic, and health issue typically affecting single, middle-aged men who are members of a minority group. Among these groups of homeless individuals 37% have families, 25% suffer from a mental illness, 13% are homeless due to domestic violence, 12% are veterans, and over 20% are children. In addition, 35% of homeless people have, or had a substance abuse issue, with over 80% of them experiencing lifelong alcohol and drug problems. Nearly 50% of homeless people self-medicate which often decreases their mental and physical health. In addition, the homeless community is vulnerable and often perceived as violent, but in fact the homeless are of the victims of attack and face challenges such as lacking personal shelter, warmth, and safety, as well as enduring medical and sleep problems, lugging all of their possessions with them, which is liable to be stolen, lack of personal hygiene, difficulty obtaining food, and low employment opportunities. My research question is what is the best way to treat drug addiction and mental illness within the homeless population to reduce drug usage and mental disorders in the homeless community? The three disciplines that I have choose for this research is Public Health, Sociology, and Psychology. My thesis is in order to reduce homelessness we must reduce substance abuse and treat mental illness and reconstruct treatment programs and offer greater support after patient’s complete treatment, and provide adequate protection towards the homeless community.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Reducing Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Among the Homeless Population.

Currently in the United States over 630,000 people are homeless and 100 million homeless people worldwide. Homelessness is a social, economic, and health issue typically affecting single, middle-aged men who are members of a minority group. Among these groups of homeless individuals 37% have families, 25% suffer from a mental illness, 13% are homeless due to domestic violence, 12% are veterans, and over 20% are children. In addition, 35% of homeless people have, or had a substance abuse issue, with over 80% of them experiencing lifelong alcohol and drug problems. Nearly 50% of homeless people self-medicate which often decreases their mental and physical health. In addition, the homeless community is vulnerable and often perceived as violent, but in fact the homeless are of the victims of attack and face challenges such as lacking personal shelter, warmth, and safety, as well as enduring medical and sleep problems, lugging all of their possessions with them, which is liable to be stolen, lack of personal hygiene, difficulty obtaining food, and low employment opportunities. My research question is what is the best way to treat drug addiction and mental illness within the homeless population to reduce drug usage and mental disorders in the homeless community? The three disciplines that I have choose for this research is Public Health, Sociology, and Psychology. My thesis is in order to reduce homelessness we must reduce substance abuse and treat mental illness and reconstruct treatment programs and offer greater support after patient’s complete treatment, and provide adequate protection towards the homeless community.