AUDIO | Persistent stereotyping and ongoing media framing have bundled homelessness and substance use together — but what exactly are the causal relationships between the two situations? Does substance use lead to homelessness? Does homelessness lead to substance use? Turns out it’s not as simple as that.

Such persistent stereotypes inflate the public perception of drug use among unhoused people far beyond reality, and suggest that illicit drug use has only one trajectory: the downward spiral. At the same time, it is true that there is a higher prevalence of substance use issues among homeless people than in the population as a whole.

Freelance journalist Carlyn Zwarenstein took a deep dive into the current issues surrounding homelessness and substance use and examined research designed to understand cause and effect.

Carlyn Zwarenstein spoke with People First Radio about her article, “The Mischaracterized Relationship Between Drug Use and Homelessness”, published online at The Filter.

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