The Comparison of Two Interventions for Homeless Youth Substance Abusers

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If good intentions, well-meaning programs, and humanitarian gestures could end homelessness, it would be history by now. Since they don’t, it is time to do something different, something that solves the problem, not services the disgrace. (Philip Mangano, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness). The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) defines homeless youth as individuals who are “not more than 21 years of age … for whom it is not possible to live in a safe environment with a relative and who have no other safe alternative living arrangement.” Implicit in this definition is the notion that homeless youth are not accompanied by a parent or guardian (Haber & Toro, 2004). The following essay examines two interventions for homeless youth that abuse drug and alcohol.
Adolescents and young adults of America are the most at risk of becoming homeless. Even though homelessness among the youth is on the rise majority of the researches done in the past years have all focused on homeless adults. The Risk Factors for homelessness are mental illness, economic disadvantage, physical and sexual abuse; socioeconomic difficulty, drug use. Even though more and more interventions for homeless youth have been developing, only little to none has been experimented on and their effectiveness has not been tested. And it is not apparent whether or not a group approach is better than individual approach. But cognitive–behavioral therapy for adolescents and younger children has been determined as the most effective interventions for homeless youth abusing substances. Case management is regarded as an important component in substance abuse services and they have also been recommended for homeless clients with substance abuse problem...

... middle of paper ... not a lot of studies done regarding the intervention of homeless youth, so this population struggles the most. Drug and alcohol abuse are the two things that are affecting the homeless youth and those are the two things that leave them without a home and as a social worker we should look for a permanent home for them and also try to find them positive role models or even be one for them. As a social worker I would approach the client and would speak to him/her respectfully, regardless of whether or not they have pierecings all over their faces, or are dressed in a shaming way, if one speaks to a youth in a respectful way he or she may feel empowered. A social worker could give information on youth clinics or try to solve the individual’s problem by asking what drives that person to the drug and alcohol and try to minimize anything that triggers these actions.
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