Housing first: end homelessness (no requirements to be off street drugs, nor on psych drugs)

The Canadian city featured in the video below has housed all their citizens.

I worked for a harm reduction program in San Francisco in which no one was required to be off illegal drugs nor were they required to be on psych drugs (the drugs of the state which were often held over the heads of those who don’t want to take them as reason to not give housing) … The program brought down emergency hospitalizations by huge numbers by giving people one of their very most basic needs…a roof over their heads…I’m a believer in non-coercive loving care. Give people what they really need and they’ll figure out the rest.

The program I worked for wasn’t a flawless program, but I was on site 8 hours a day and folks were able to come to me if and when they wanted. No coercive requirements or expectations. The philosophy of the program truly helped me understand what is possible. I was on a heavy load of psych drugs when I worked there and even then I was clear that no one should be forced to take those substances. I hadn’t worked out a safe way to come off at that point is all. We all need to do things in our own time. Housing is a human right. Without housing we can’t begin to figure out how to take care of ourselves in more profound ways.

(the video I first shared was taken down…here is another…not as thorough or well produced as the last but it gets the point across)

See also: Coercion, subtle or otherwise, is the rule in psychiatric care…

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters