Addiction and mental illness issues have been rampant in our country for quite some time now. With increased distribution and popularity of drugs, it’s becoming extremely difficult to help people who don’t have the resources of money to get the treatment they need. In metropolitan areas like San Francisco, homelessness and addiction are two highly correlated problems that are taking lives every day. As the country is dealing with nearly 115 deaths from opioid addiction each and every day, the city wants to shape up their climate. The city’s leaders are hoping that they can tackle the constant opioid addiction in the streets with free and proper medical treatment.
In the middle of California’s homelessness crisis and the national opioid epidemic, the city’s Mayor Mark Farrell recently announced a budget plan to create a ten person large medical team that will visit people and offer prescriptions. He stated, “Drug abuse is rampant on our streets, and the recipe of waiting for addicts to come into a clinic voluntarily is not working. Plain and simple. So we’re going to take a different approach”. This team would be funded by six million dollars to support their travels, basic needs, and the cost of the drugs themselves.
Farrell’s announcement also allows the city to join several others across the country who are quickly taking steps to open up treatment centers to battle the national’s opioid addiction. These prescriptions would be buprenorphine prescriptions to homeless people in the city through needle exchanges, parks, and other public locations that are often used as flu shot centers throughout the area. This would drastically help more people who can’t afford to reach help to access help for their opioid addictions. In turn, with consistent use the medications will help stop their opioid cravings and ease off often painful withdrawal effects.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
To combat their addiction crisismore directly, Farrell also announced that San Francisco tent cities would be set up to help provide additional help for the homeless. This plan called for an additional $29 million for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. More than half of that fund is going directly towards creating the cities where homeless men and women can gain free of charge substance abuse counseling, mental health help, and even career searching advice. Right now, San Francisco has five tent cities and the newest in development is meant to specifically help women who are pregnant.
Since recovering from substance abuse doesn’t just work by physically removing drugs, these people can benefit from learning about coping skills from the experts themselves. This is what dual diagnosis treatment encompasses as it treats both sides of the person’s addiction. The mayor’s hope is that his plan to roll out more San Francisco tent cities will help friends and family of the homeless repair bonds as well. As they wear off their dependence from the drug and can function more normal again, the career centers can help them find steady work and earning a reasonable living again. And although everyday life will still be stressful for these people after rehab, they will always have the free resource down the neighborhood to aid any possible episodes of relapse. Ultimately, Farrell hopes that homeless in San Francisco and across the state will slowly decrease as more people are helped to get back on their feet. The cycle of poverty is vicious and can only be broken with ample education, an opportunity for a living wage, and resources for both men and women.
Helping Homeless and Addiction
By having access to enough resources to stop their addiction to opioids, the social climate of San Francisco’s streets and crime rate has a chance to steadily improve as well. Since drug abuse is directly linked to many problems like domestic abuse and violence, sexual assault, theft, property damage and driving under the influence many possible outbreaks can be prevented.
Overall, most drug addiction-focused programs like Farrell’s plans are cost effective since they reduce the public expense toward the social problems it does cause However, it’s important for the city government to consistently fund, manage, and track its performance at all sites to determine what methods and locations are the most effective. In the city of San Francisco, police officers and other public serving leaders have already pointed out where the most heavy areas for drug-related activity area. This activity tends to cover any reports of illegal drug sales, using drugs in the public, or criminal acts committed by people under the influence of using illegal drugs like opioids.
Future of addiction in San Francisco
The future of the city of San Francisco looks bright as their medical team starts to sweep the streets for people in need of opioid addiction treatment. As more homeless people learn about the counseling centers and the opportunity to gain medication for their withdrawal effects, the more they’ll be inclined to improve their quality of life and hopefully seek the chance to become a contributing member of society. While getting over addiction is never easy, it always helps to have a group of experts to provide information on dealing with symptoms and provide you moral support to get through the toughest days. I have faith that more cities will catch on to San Francisco’s opioid addiction treatment plan since the whole country is suffering from the epidemic. As someone living in the Midwest,I think it’s crucial for more hubs like Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Minneapolis to invest in similar programs or expand the reach of theirs if they haven’t already. Thousands of lives could be saved if everyone pitches in and realizes that there’s still people out there who need help!