Drug & Substance Abuse: Examining Homelessness & Its Impact - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1704 Words
Date:  2023-01-23


In the past month, Community First Village has been engaged with various agencies and Non-governmental Organizations and Texas state government to create awareness on drug and substance abuse. Exposure at the Community First Village has opened my eyes to numerous socio-economic factors of homelessness and substance abuse I have never encountered before. Records at the Mayor's office indicate that homeless families and persons have stood out as the main distribution agents of hardcore drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.The past two months have seen increased substance and drug trade with the police recording a high of 23 arrests in a single day. Community First Village has taken the initiative to roll out an awareness campaign that will make it to all the major learning institutions and residential areas to help deter young people from engaging in drugs. For the past three weeks, the community has integrated its programs with health awareness initiatives to highlight to the families the dangers of drug addiction and trade. I must admit that the entire arrangement and framework of operations at the Community First Village has enabled me to integrate various theoretical concepts to real life. I was happy and eager to offer my services to homeless people considering their deplorable status.

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Community First Village mission is to assist families and individuals with cheap housing and further help them realize their self-reliance. Every day, it supports over 700 families within Austin on various personal development programs and provision of food. It offers employment, housing, education and healthcare to enable the families and individuals to become self-reliant and sufficient. The police department, healthcare organizations and business enterprises are happy with the awareness campaign that will see a drop in crime-related activities and increased number of lawlessness in the state. Healthcare facilities are also delighted with the initiative as they often face the biggest challenge in restoring health's that have been wrecked by drug abuse and addiction. Led by the City of Austin Public Health, the entire community is also supporting the program as majority of the well-off families have contributed enough personal items that include food, clothing, bedding and personal details such as electronic machines. Each day, the organization arranges for counselling sessions for families and individuals willing to go through the rehabilitation and awareness creation exercise. According to the functionalist perspective, society is interconnected, and each part influenced by another in various ways. It's no doubt that homelessness in Texas has contributed significantly to drug abuse and lawlessness in the larger Austin city.

I started working with Community First Village on its second week at a time that the majority of the counselling sessions were at their peak. As an intern with Austin Public Health, on my first day, I was assigned to an elderly couple who were battling with skin related complications and marijuana use. Their condition was not very scary, but it raised a significant concern because they attributed the return of the infection to marijuana use. According to the couple, both in their early 60s, their conditioned often worsens when and every time they partake in marijuana inhalation and application. I took them through the mandatory sessions and helped them appreciate the services of Austin Public Health.

Significant Experience

I firmly believe that any human being on addiction can change his or her ways. On this particular day, I was assigned to find out the background of an ex-convict to determine if the organization could trace his relatives or friends. According to the records at the organization's registry, at the time Mr Eugene was brought in, he was heavily stoned and could not remember anything besides his prison number. A shower and a light meal helped him refreshed, and when he was brought back to the meeting room, he admitted that when he left Pennsylvania Correction centre 4 months ago, he got heavily stoned and engaged in heavy drinking. Mr Eugene could not remember much from experience. He had numerous bruises and scratches on his arm and face. However, he was in good health. Though I tried to put a brave face, deep down, I felt uncomfortable and looking into his eyes sent shivers to my body. He admitted that he was from Chicago but was trying to make a living here in Texas. In Chicago, he acknowledged that he had no family and depended much on street handouts to get a meal. He had neither known brother nor sister. He, however, remembered his place of birth in the backstreets of New York vaguely but had no proper recollection of his childhood life. According to the symbolic interactionist perspective, meanings and definitions are essential within the social context of an individual's life. I believe that his objective has dramatically influenced the man's condition ad situation about himself concerning his environment. Symbol interactionism postulates that his social background and interaction significantly affect one's identity. I scheduled another meeting with him later in the week to try and find out the best strategic approach to getting him back to normal health. I assigned him to be taken to the health facility for thorough checkup and diagnosis in case of any health complication.

Generalist Social Work Practitioner Model

Generalist Social Work Practitioners engage with groups, communities, individuals, organizations and families within various settings intending to pursue economic and social justice. Zastrow (2016) postulated that generalist practitioners assess systems and people from their strong viewpoints to support, recognize and building their inner abilities and that of human beings. They not only advocate and evaluate but they also counsel, organize and educate on behalf and with various persons, people, families and individuals. They undertake in community growth and organizational improvement towards ensuring that all the services offered are ethical, practical and useful. A generalist should thus be well-informed and aware of all social frameworks and arrangements that focus on independence and interaction. Therefore, a generalist needs to uphold all social network services to perform and undertake all various forms of social work. The model entails analyzing and making identification on the interceptive conduct necessary and sufficient for social work. In addition to other factors, a generalist needs to be well-informed on the system's hypothesis that puts more emphasis on independence and interaction.

There are majorly three perspectives of approaching generalist social work. They include the holistic and strengths perspective, integrative and eclectic perspective, and the self-determination and clients rights perspective. According to Zastrow (2016) the three aspects entail the basic concepts of achieving social work functions, thus helping generalist practitioners achieve their common goal and objective of service delivery to the society. They at that same time have to work within the guidelines of set codes of ethics such as the NASW Code of Ethics. They must also be at a position to work comfortably with colleagues, co-workers, and clients from diverse professional, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Being an excellent generalist practitioner means helping the society in various ways, making use of the outlined models and perspectives to make informed choices and decisions. It thus prepares one to make entry into the social work profession by building on the above mentioned three perspectives and the generalist model. Thus, making use of the model and outlined aspects helps one be at a position to work effectively for social and human good.

Steps of the Problem

Presenting Problem

Mr Eugene is 36 years old and an ex-convict. He also suffers from a high blood pressure of 140/90 according to the medical analysis. He served three years in Pennsylvania Correction Center for numerous minor offences. For the past decade, he has served much of his life behind bars. He also claimed to have a series of on and off migraines although he appreciates having gotten effective medication at the correction centre.


The health facility requested a close watch over Mr Eugene, and he was admitted for the same. An antihypertensive drug was administered that helped in lowering his blood pressure. Later he was engaged in a series of physical exercise and blood pressure monitoring.


During the entire exercise, Mr Eugene admitted to having engaged in a high intake of cocaine and heroin. We discussed his depressive condition and strategies to quit smoking and lower any intake of sodium in his diet. The physician recommended a series of steps that I was appointed to guide Mr Eugene, and they included self-care remedies such as stress management, physical exercise, low sodium diet, and quit the use of drugs


Mr Eugene has lived almost all his life in and out of rehabilitation and corrective centres. He has neither known relative nor friend. He has no education or professional training. His high blood pressure and on and off migraines is majorly attributed to depressive mood swings and street lifestyle. He believes that a change of lifestyle will help him regain his good health.


I suggested a closer medical analysis of Mr Eugene based on his street lifestyle that I believe could have a lot concerning his drug addiction and poor health. A change of diet and counselling session was also arranged for Mr Eugene to help uncover much of his past lifestyle and find a way of overcoming his drug addiction.


Mr Eugene's schedule is well strategized with proper physical exercise, adequate diet and close patient-centred care, and I believe that he will soon be back to good health. All days from Monday to Saturday, we have a morning session of counselling and in the afternoon, a light session of reading and motivational talks. In all the meetings, I emphasized on the need to change his lifestyle and find a meaningful career and profession to pursue courtesy of Community First Village.


After a close engagement and working with Mr Eugene for five weeks, his health has seen a remarkable improvement. His pressure is gradually getting back to normal, and his urge for drugs has significantly subsided. Monitoring his blood pressure will be an ongoing exercise, and I believe that in less than six more months, he will be in perfectly good health. He will continue accessing Austin Public health facility with the close guidance of Community First Village.


Zastrow, Charles H. (2016). Generalist Social Work Practice: A Work text. (Sixth Ed.).Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc.

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Drug & Substance Abuse: Examining Homelessness & Its Impact - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/drug-substance-abuse-examining-homelessness-its-impact-essay-sample

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