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How to Handle Moving While in Treatment

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Many people who enroll in outpatient opioid use disorder recovery services are also faced with the task of securing housing while they work towards long-term sobriety. This may be a seemingly simple task for most. Still, those with substance use disorder often find themselves at odds with certain barriers when searching for a place to live due to background checks, previous issues with landlords, and other problems that could arise due to their addiction.

Dealing with the idea of a move is physically and mentally tasking. There are also logistics to figure out to ensure the new housing location is within reach of an outpatient clinic and a safe and healthy environment for a patient’s recovery goals. Thankfully, there are helpful housing options available to aid those in opioid treatment and recovery that offer lifesaving programs to their communities.

Common Barriers

Those enrolled in an outpatient treatment program for opioid use disorder may have trouble finding permanent housing due to their situation that their addiction has caused. People who battle substance use disorder often end up homeless and without a permanent residence due to their brain prioritizing substance use above all else, a common aspect of the disease. In 2018, congress passed the SUPPORT Act, also known as the Support for Patients and Communities Act, which helps provide numerous programs and ample funding states and localities to help address the effects of the opioid epidemic.

Waiting lists are also a troublesome barrier that can cause issues for those in recovery services waiting for secure housing, especially because commonplace laws for public housing that prohibit those with substance use issues from applying and can pose eviction threats. These policies have long been discriminatory against people working to overcome addiction and have been long overdue for revision.

What is HUD?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a pilot program created to help the housing needs of people in recovery with the help of CDBG, or the Community Development Block Grant. These programs are specifically designed to tend to the problems that people with substance use disorder face when looking for housing while in treatment or after completing recovery services. Depending on the state, these programs can help those who have battled addiction find assisted housing for up to two years, along with nondiscrimination, labor standards, and fair housing acts.

Patients enrolled in treatment programs for substance use disorder causing them to lose employment and housing have options available to them. No one with a chronic condition like addiction should be left homeless or discriminated against due to their disability. Programs such as HUD and CDBG can significantly impact communities stricken by the opioid epidemic in a positive way. Patients enrolled in inpatient and outpatient treatment are strongly urged to seek assistant for the financial support they need as renting tenants to live independently while rebuilding their lives in recovery successfully.


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