By Staff Writer
Most of the homeless individuals that a person sees on the street did not simply catch a bad break in life. The majority struggle with some type of mental illness, often including drug addiction. Addressing the issue of substance abuse and mental health problems among these individuals could be key to solving the issue of homelessness, experts say.
Efforts are currently under way in Canada to improve the mental health and stem drug addiction among the country’s homeless. The Edmonton Sun reports that three local healthcare providers are collaborating to offer a range of services to individuals living on the city’s streets, including addiction treatment.
Officials from the Mobile Outreach Addiction Team, as the initiative is known, told the news source that there are a lot of people that need help, but due to mental illness simply do not know where to look for it. This project seeks to solve this problem.
The National Coalition for the Homeless, a U.S.-based advocacy group, estimates that 38 percent of those living on the streets are dependent on alcohol, while another 26 percent are addicted to other substances.