IOAD Reminder: Remaining Aware of The Impact of Addiction on Homelessness

IOAD Reminder: Remaining Aware of The Impact of Addiction on Homelessness

H4WRD Blog

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) was a sobering opportunity for all of us to take note of the human devastation wrought by drug addiction, especially as it impacts our unhoused neighbors and friends. 

Jasmine Paredes, right, lost both parents to cancer when she was young and smokes meth to numb herself. Her friend Karma uses fentanyl, a drug she says is not only dangerous but expensive. A gram can cost $70 and last her two days.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The data behind people experiencing homelessness who also battle addiction are staggering:

The pain and suffering behind those numbers is heartbreaking.

Roger said he experienced an overdose and passed out when his girlfriend, a meth and fentanyl user, blew smoke toward him. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

For each person who dies by overdose, there are countless others – loved ones, family and friends – who shoulder the burden of that loss. At Hollywood 4WRD, we also feel the pain of addiction. Our members encompass a wide range of stakeholders in Hollywood, from service providers and city officials to Faith-based leaders and our unhoused neighbors, all dedicated to H4WRD’s mission of preventing and ending street homelessness in Greater Hollywood. It’s fair to say that addiction has been on our collective radar for a long time.

In June of this year, we held a special event for our members, entitled In the Eye of a Tragic Storm: The Intersection of Homelessness and Addiction in 2023. The evening offered a stark look at the impact of addiction on people experiencing homelessness, but also provided members with some hope that there are early intervention and treatment options available for those able to access them

Author Sam Quinones speaks at H4WRD's special event on homelessness and addiction

We work alongside people and organizations devoted to supporting our unhoused friends through all the challenges they face, including addiction. As we pause today to remember those lost through overdose, we’re glad to share these resources for educating our community about the problem of addiction AND how we can prevent further suffering:

UCLA Health Mobile Vans

Relevant articles/reports:

Please note: many of these resources are available on the Hollywood 4WRD website, on our Hollywood Entities and Services and Great Reads + Info pages.