Housing Instability and Homelessness

Comorbid substance use disorders in schizophrenia are consistently associated with increased risk for homelessness among persons with schizophrenia (Drake et al. 1991). In Caton and colleagues' (1994) case-control study comparing 100 indigent men with severe mental illness and home-lessness with 100 men with schizophrenia who were not homeless, homeless subjects had significantly higher rates of drug abuse. Studies of innovative service models for the homeless mentally ill have found that persons with substance use comorbidity do not benefit as much from these programs as do the non-substance-using severely mental ill individuals, in part due to the fact that substance-using severely mental ill patients lead a more transient lifestyle. In one study of assertive community treatment for the homeless mentally ill, homeless persons with substance use disorders had more moves during the treatment year than other severely mental ill patients (Holohan et al. 1997).

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