This story is a part of Business Insider’s “
Homeless In Silicon Valley” series reported by Robert Johnson and edited by Chris C. Anderson. Jill Klausen and graphic designer Mike Nudelman contributed to this series.
Drugs are a serious problem among the homeless. If not a cause of becoming homeless, drug abuse can come as a result of being out on the streets.
It isn’t easy to check yourself into a facility to get help, especially when drug use can be a form of escape from the everyday harshness that is being homeless. Christine, who has floated around Silicon Valley’s streets for 25 years, finally found the strength recently to check herself in for opiate addiction. She had been taking as many as 30 Percocet a day.
As a result of being in the program, she’s temporarily off the streets and in subsidized housing. But even the $US40 she’s required to pay for the program is too much, with only $US147 coming in each month from a general assistance check.
Business Insider met Christine before one of her group therapy sessions at the Santa Clara County addiction center in Silicon Valley.
When she was 14 years old, Christine says she ran away from home because she didn’t want to follow the rules. “I was dumb,” she says.
She has a 22-year-old son who won’t speak to her because she won’t let him drink at her house or bring over any non-sober friends.
She’s thinks she’ll be OK. “Either you wanna be sober or you don’t,” she says, knowing that staying sober is the only way she’ll end up staying in her home.
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