The Link Between Homelessness, Addiction, and the Coronavirus


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rip across the globe, more people are beginning to realize how vulnerable society is. Many are taking precautions, such as social distancing, wearing masks in public, and practicing handwashing and good hygiene. However, some groups, such as the homeless, remain susceptible to the coronavirus. To make matters worse, homeless individuals who struggle with addiction and other preexisting conditions are at even greater risk for contracting COVID-19.homelessness addiction and the coronavirus

Pandemics, Addiction, and Homelessness

Sadly, when it comes to who the coronavirus pandemic affects, homeless populations are among the most vulnerable. This is due mainly to the lack of shelter that homeless people experience. While Southern California tends to have fairly good weather year round, being exposed to the elements can take a toll on one’s immune system. Further, many homeless shelters are overpopulated, with people living in close quarters. This leaves the venues ripe for the spread of disease, like the coronavirus.

To make matters worse, many homeless individuals lack access to healthcare. This can discourage homeless individuals from seeking treatment for COVID-19 or other illnesses.

Additionally, homeless people who struggle with addiction are at an even greater risk from the coronavirus, and infectious disease in general. Certain substances can weaken your immune system. Alcohol is chief among the culprits, but drugs that directly affect the lungs are also quite harmful. If weakening one’s immune system and lung health wasn’t enough, substance abuse can also lead to reckless behavior, such as ignoring social distancing guidelines. As a result, homeless individuals who struggle with addiction are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Addressing Homelessness, Addiction, and the Coronavirus in Orange County

Thankfully, during these times of crisis, action is being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In Orange County, officials are setting up tents, trailers, hotels, and have even vacated a former juvenile detention center to care for homeless people struggling with COVID-19. In general, expanding access to shelter and healthcare is one of the best ways to combat the spread of disease amongst homeless populations.

Another great way to reduce the risk of disease amongst homeless populations is by treating addiction. As mentioned, many substances weaken the immune system. Other drugs that affect the lungs can make COVID-19 all the more devastating. While treating addiction is no easy task, homeless individuals who achieve recovery will find that they are less vulnerable to disease.LagunaTreatment_Hospital outside

When seeking addiction treatment, it’s important to consider medically informed programs. As premier detox hospital in Orange County, Laguna Treatment Hospital is prepared to offer medically informed, patient-centric programs. Don’t wait to get your start in recovery. Better immunity and a life free of addiction is just a phone call away.



About The Contributor

Timothy Esteves
Timothy Esteves

Community Content Editor

Timothy Esteves is the Community Content Editor at American Addiction Centers. Tim received his B.A. in English with an emphasis on literature from Denison University. He got his start as an editor working with students at the Denison University... Read More


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