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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Unmet Drug and Alcohol Service Needs of Homeless People in London: A Complex Issue
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Little research has been conducted on the drug use of those who sleep rough (on the streets) in the United Kingdom (UK). During 2000, to fill in the gaps in the knowledge base, researchers at the National Addiction Centre, London, carried out a community survey using a structured questionnaire amongst 389 homeless people recently or currently sleeping rough, in order to investigate their met and unmet drug and alcohol service needs. In total, 265 (68%) had a need for drug services and 97 (25%) for alcohol services. Over half of the current drug users (170/324, 52%) and 88 (33%) of the 264 current alcohol users wanted help with their substance use, but few were currently accessing the appropriate services, other than needle exchanges. The challenge for services is to build these potential clients' motivation to accept health-conferring intervention. (Authors)
Substance Use and Misuse