The Impact of Limited Housing Opportunities on Formerly Incarcerated People in the Context of Addiction Recovery

The Impact of Limited Housing Opportunities on Formerly Incarcerated People in the Context of Addiction Recovery

Background

Formerly incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders encounter numerous obstacles following incarceration that threaten their sobriety. Obtaining safe and stable housing is a notoriously difficult task resulting in precarious housing that can increase the likelihood of relapse. The current study examined the relationship between substance use and 11 housing settings in a sample of 211 formerly incarcerated individuals with a history of substance abuse to identify the housing characteristics with the highest risk of use.

Methods

Participants retroactively reported their alcohol and illicit drug consumptions as well as their dwelling for the past 180 days using the Timeline Follow-back method. Housing settings were collapsed into four conceptually distinct categories: Regulated, Independent, Precarious, and Homeless.

Findings

Results showed differences in alcohol and drug consumptions across categories, with Regulated settings having less alcohol and substance use reported. The remaining settings with less oversight had a similar percentage of individuals endorse substance use; however, the Precarious setting was associated with the highest consumption of drug use.

Conclusion

Formerly incarcerated individuals with a history of substance use problems would likely benefit from housing with some degree of oversight and financial obligation. More resources should be funnelled into programs to help formerly incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders find housing that will facilitate abstinence during community re-entry.

JOURNAL: Journal of Addictive Behavior and Therapy
VOLUME: 1
ISSUE: 2
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017