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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200256 Find in a Library
Title: Alcohol and Other Drug Use Disorders Among Homeless People in Australia
Journal: Substance Use & Misuse  Volume:38  Issue:3-6  Dated:February-May 2003  Pages:463-474
Author(s): Maree Teesson; Tracy Hodder; Neil Buhrich
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study describes alcohol-use and other drug-use disorders among 210 homeless people in Australia and compares these findings with the international literature.
Abstract: A featured part of this report consists of the findings of the authors' study of substance-use disorders among homeless people living in the inner city area of Sydney, Australia's largest city. A total of 210 homeless individuals (160 men and 50 women) agreed to participate in the study. Alcohol dependence was found to be the most prevalent substance-use disorder, affecting 35 percent of homeless persons in the past 12 months. Homeless people were three times more likely to have an alcohol-use disorder than the Australian general population. Dependence on or abuse of other drugs affected approximately one in three persons in the past 12 months, with cannabis and opiates accounting for more drug-use disorders than any other illicit drug. Overall, homeless people were 6 times more likely to have a drug-use disorder and 33 times more likely to have an opiate-use disorder than the Australian general population. Homeless people in Sydney were 3.4 times more likely to have a drug-use disorder than homeless people in comparable studies in both Munich, Germany and Los Angeles, CA. These differences may be related to socioeconomic or political characteristics of the countries. There may be relatively fewer young drug users among the homeless population in Munich and Los Angeles because they are living with their families. The authors note that effective treatments are available for alcohol and drug abusers; the challenge is making them available to the homeless. 1 table and 23 references
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Australia; Comparative analysis; Drug abuse in foreign countries; Drug treatment; Homeless persons
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