Sage Against The Machine

Addiction In The Homeless Community

There is yet again another mean and hurtful conversation going on in the homeless community on facebook here:

I’m being accused of being a piece of shit. It’s really nothing new. It comes up from time to time.

The conversation is going on that there are drugs in a transitional house run by the Homeless Charity.

I wrote something about my thoughts on addiction in the homeless community. I wanted to keep the thoughts so here they are:

OK. Let’s talk about drugs. But first, I have NOTHING to do with the Arlington house. I bring food pretty much every week. I drop it off and leave. I will be doing that tomorrow, for example.

Before I start let me make very clear: I AM NOT IN ANY ANY WAY REPRESENTING The Homeless Charity. I have no role there. They probably would not agree with what I’m about to say.

Let me say it again:
Drugs DO NOT cause homelessness.

Homelessness is a whole bunch of circumstances that align with the fact that there are not any safety nets in America. The only safety net in America is your family. If your family is not able to help you, you are totally fucked.

Using drugs is an effect of homelessness. Drugs are the only thing most homeless people can rely on. People always will eventually fail them. But drugs never will.

Because of that, drugs and alcohol become as crucial to an addict as food. In fact, probably more needed than food. Imagine if you were starving and hadn’t eaten in a week. What do you think you would do to get food? THAT’S what it’s like for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol.

You can never hope to even begin to address addiction until you start to build some form of trust and reliability in the world in addition to drugs. If I told you that you needed to lose weight and you need to stop eating all food to do it, you probably would tell me to go fuck myself. THAT’s what we are doing to addicts. “Stop doing drugs.” That’s it. They are telling these people to stop eating and not providing another option for healthier food.

This is addiction. And this is addiction in the homeless community. Addiction isn’t the problem. Building trust and hope and belief that there actually could be something else out there for that person.

That’s where we are with homeless people.