Understanding best practices: A look into homelessness related alcoholism
Comorbidity of substance use disorders and homelessness is an ever present issue in the United States. Determining the best course of treatment for these individuals remains challenging. Here we highlight dominant models and theories explaining the relationships between substance abuse (specifically alcoholism) and homelessness, considering how they can and should inform strategies in the treatment of individuals facing homelessness and alcoholism. We review several models that have been developed to guide intervention strategies, from the traditional 12 steps to managed alcohol programs within low income communities to choice based programming within homeless shelters and rehab facilities. Data suggest that the best strategy continues to be programs that enhance individuals’ community support through peer based interactions. Though the perfect treatment within this isolated population is yet to be determined, future research should help to identify viable candidates.
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