One in thirty adolescents in the U.S. experienced homelessness between 2016 and 2017. Homelessness among adolescents occurs in the context of overwhelming stress, trauma and deprivation, all of which are associated with worse mental health and substance use outcomes.
This study evaluated mental health and substance use outcomes among homeless and non-homeless adolescents in 2019. Alcohol, cigarette, marijuana, and binge drinking during the prior 30 days was assessed, along with lifetime use of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, and injection drugs or prescription opioid misuse. Results found current substance use was higher among homeless adolescents.