- Powered by American Addiction Centers

Homelessness and Addiction Treatment

Too often, addiction and homelessness walk hand in hand, but luckily, you can get help for both of these issues when you find the right facility. A homelessness and addiction rehab and recovery center can help you get back on your feet while beating your addiction. If you are struggling with both homelessness and addiction, you deserve to get help from the best treatment facility.

The Addiction and Homelessness Connection

Homelessness and addiction can be difficult problems to overcome. This is especially true if you are struggling with both of these issues at the same time. Although exact numbers can be hard to pin down, estimates from the National Coalition for the Homeless claims that roughly 38 percent of homeless people are addicted to alcohol and over a quarter of homeless individuals are addicted to some type of drug.1


A national survey revealed that substance abuse was the number one reason single adults became homeless in 2008, with 68% of U.S. cities citing it as the primary cause.1 Homeless youths are more likely to suffer from drug dependence, while alcohol abuse is more prevalent amongst the older population.1

Not everyone suffers from a substance addiction prior to experiencing homelessness, though; many people turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with homelessness, which often leads to addiction, and further exacerbates the situation. Without the right treatment for addiction, it may be rather difficult to escape the cycle of homelessness and addiction.

Many homeless people also suffer from mental illness. In fact, approximately 30% of people who are chronically homeless have a serious mental illness, and around two-thirds have an addiction or other chronic health condition.3

If you are homeless and struggling with an addiction, it is time to get the help you deserve. Whether your addiction caused your homelessness or developed in response to it, you can get the help you need from a homelessness and addiction recovery program. When you contact us at , we will help you find the best homelessness and addiction rehab facility for your needs.

Finding Homeless Drug Rehab Centers

Alcohol and drug rehab for the homeless can be found around the country; however, it is important to note that each facility may offer slightly different amenities and a slightly different approach to treatment. The facility that works best for one individual may not be the one that works best for another.

When looking for the ideal facility, you need to focus on finding the one that best matches your individual needs. Ideally, you should find a facility that can adeptly address all your needs, and not just your addiction issues.

Dual-Diagnosis Rehab for Homeless

As mentioned above, many homeless people suffering from a substance addiction also suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder. It’s important that the recovery program specializes in dual diagnosis if this is the case. Dual diagnosis facilities have programs that are specifically designed to treat co-occurring disorders. They provide addiction recovery counseling in addition to mental health services and life skills training.

The staff members should have experience working with the unique issues that are faced by the homeless population, but they should also have experience treating any other disorders you may have. For instance, if you struggle with a mental health disorder or have experienced something traumatic in the past, the facility you choose should be able to diagnose, understand, and treat the issue as necessary.

Sober Living After Addiction Treatment

It’s of extreme importance that homelessness is addressed in treatment. The acquisition of stable housing while the patient receives treatment, as well as after, can aid in preventing relapse.1 Below is a list of services the recovery center should provide in order to prepare the patient for success post-treatment1:

  • Physical health care.
  • Money management training.
  • Peer support.
  • Employment and education opportunities.
  • Daily living skills.
  • Aid in rejoining the community.

Types of Therapy at Homeless Rehab Programs

One of the most important things you will do when staying at a rehab for homeless addicts is attend therapy meetings. There are many different approaches to therapy, and you should look closely at which type a particular facility offers before you decide to stay there. The right therapy will be key to your successful recovery.

“One of the most important things you will do when staying at a homelessness and addiction treatment facility is attend therapy meetings.”In many cases, facilities feature a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy, which will examine the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and can help you learn to make positive decisions without turning to drugs and alcohol. Through your therapy, you can develop healthy strategies to cope with stress or boredom that don’t involve drugs or alcohol.

You may want to augment that type of therapy with another approach, depending on your beliefs and independent needs. If you feel you need the help of a higher power to guide you through this process, for instance, you may want to find a facility that can offer you faith-based counseling or a 12-step approach to therapy.

These programs provide you with a supportive and encouraging environment in which people share and listen to one another’s experiences associated with addiction and homelessness. 12-step programs typically have a sponsorship program in which you choose a sponsor that you trust and confide in.

Medication Used at Homeless Rehab Programs

Programs may also offer medications for addiction and mental health conditions. Common medications prescribed for addictions to opioids (heroin, morphine, hydrocodone) include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (which is also used for alcoholism). Medications for alcohol include disulfiram (Antabuse) and acamprosate (Campral). These drugs can help with withdrawal and cravings and help prevent people from relapsing.

Medications for mental health disorders often include antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antipsychotics. A doctor or healthcare professional will assess you when you first enter the homeless recovery program to see if any of these drugs could be beneficial for your treatment.

Paying for Homeless Rehabilitation Programs

If you are interested in a homeless recovery program but are worried about covering the cost of treatment, you have a couple of options.

You can apply for public insurance such as Medicare, Medicaid, or your state health insurance exchange (Obamacare). These programs will cover some or all of the cost of substance abuse treatment.

If you’re not eligible for these programs, you can apply for a scholarship to cover the cost of your treatment. Many rehab centers offer these to people who have a hard time affording treatment. You can search for these in your area.

You can also search for free and low-income recovery programs through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. Search by city, state, or zip code to find programs in your area that serve low-income and homeless populations.

Addiction Treatment Aftercare

You may spend anywhere from a few weeks to several months at a homelessness and addiction recovery center. Research has revealed that the longer a homeless patient with a substance addiction stays in treatment, the more likely he or she is to achieve and maintain sobriety.2

When it is time to leave the facility, it is important that the program helps you get back on your feet and sets you up for continued success. The best homelessness and addiction treatment facilities should have a team a treatment team that prepares an aftercare plan for you. Aftercare is any ongoing treatment that occurs after the initial recovery program. Aftercare programs, which decrease the risk of relapse, can include:

Making the Call

If you are or someone you love is homeless and struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available. When you call us at , we will help you find the best homeless recovery program and facility for you.

[1]. Substance Abuse and Homelessness. (2009, July). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
[2]. S. Z. (2002). Substance Abuse Treatment: What Works for Homeless People? A Review of Literature. Translating Research into Practice Subcommittee, 6. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
[3]. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017). Homelessness and Housing.