New chances not rejection

Drug addiction has been thought to have begun around around two hundred million years ago.  We as humans have been dealing with that issue longer than we have with artificial intelligence, nuclear wars, climate change, and great power conflicts.  

Despite efforts being made to prevent drug usage, almost twenty-one million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only ten percent of them receive treatment.  

Every day millions of people pass homeless citizens and don’t bat an eye.  Recent studies show that the majority of the public have lost compassion for the homeless population;  Furthermore, a portion of that group think that homeless people are “dangerous junkies” and addicts.  While some of the homeless population are drug addicts, not all of them are.  Violence from homeless people is less common than violence against homeless people.

Homeless populations are commonly caused by factors like abusive families, poverty, and unfortunate circumstances.  A prime example of such situations is the story of Misty.

Misty is a mother of three that was a part of the homeless population for just over a year.  Despite her addiction to drugs, that was not the cause for her homelessness.

In 2018, her son was diagnosed with leukemia.  She was worried sick about her son, and sought relief in unhealthy ways.  Her pain killing medicine, prescribed to her after a back injury, helped ease the mental and physical pain that came with spending the majority of her time in a hospital.  

For the first year of her son’s treatment, she was isolated in her home and UC Davis hospitals.  Rising tensions in her marriage caused her addiction to worsen until she got a divorce and a new boyfriend.

The boyfriend, Bruce, was a former addict and was helping Misty cope with her divorce and son’s diagnosis.  Misty’s life, once again, did a full 180 when she and her ex-husband got into a nearly fatal crash, and months later her boyfriend got into a car crash.

The guilt from both incidents started a spiral of domestic abuse and addiction between Bruce and Misty that continued on even months after she was evicted from her home.  Over time, her addiction morphed from painkillers to methamphetamine.  The combination of stress, drugs, and homelessness culminated into mental issues that drove away her few remaining friends.

Homeless shelters were full, her addiction drove away most of her next-of-kin, and her hallucinations scared everyone, herself included.  Which started a positive on positive reaction: stress, drug use, more stress, and so on and so forth.

She became a part of the “crazy homeless” stereotype for half a year before her children were taken by CPS.  Misty, a former foster kid, was given a chance to get clean and start a new life for her and her family, free of drugs.

Factors to a person that make them frowned upon shouldn’t be villainized.  Mental health issues, addiction, homelessness need more funding, donations, and awareness.  Addicts, the homeless population, and the mentally ill need new chances, not rejection.