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Homeless despite Yale degree; mental illness? drug addiction? choice?

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Replies to: Homeless despite Yale degree; mental illness? drug addiction? choice?

  • vistajayvistajay 1461 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The article and his story are a good reminder that anyone can fall victim to drugs. It is also clear from the article he is not going to change much in his life, at this point.
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  • natty1988natty1988 638 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    There are a lot of reasons for someone to become homeless. A drug addiction can hit anyone without any regard to their fancy degree or socioeconomic level and mental illness is something you can't control. There was a student at my kid's school who was schizophrenic...he is homeless. He comes from an affluent, educated family and he lives on the street and in shelters and group homes. His family has done everything they can to help him...but he refuses to take his medication.
    Anyone can become mentally ill or addicted. It doesn't just happen to poor or uneducated people.
    Also, people can suffer job loss, a tragedy, natural disasters, etc...your life can change in an instant..
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26741 replies174 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The family has tried repeatedly to get him help, his brother said. There is a standing offer for him to move in with his 86-year-old father...

    He has an option to move back home, but there may be good reasons why that would not work.
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  • websensationwebsensation 2106 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a friend who has a very uncooperative adult son with some mental problems. If they don't allow him to stay at their house for free, the kid would have become a homeless person or went to jail. Basically, the parents aged 5 years because of this kid.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78204 replies687 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    vistajay wrote: »
    The article and his story are a good reminder that anyone can fall victim to drugs.

    Possibly another victim of prescription opioids that were sold as "not being an addiction risk"?
    His brother says his path toward addiction began while he was recovering from a back injury before he was homeless. "It started with pain killers, and then when they were too expensive or not accessible he medicated with other things."
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  • PublisherPublisher 7972 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 17
    This person left a career on Wall Street to start a business making porn films in Los Angeles. He made a fortune from porn DVDs, but then got into arguments with his business partners. He admits to using meth on a regular basis. Refuses to go into a shelter because it would affect his freedom to use meth.
    edited September 17
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14733 replies984 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus
    Possibly another victim of prescription opioids that were sold as "not being an addiction risk"?

    This is the socially acceptable way to become a drug addict. It is an overused excuse.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1221 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's also a legitimate excuse. The only person I personally know to have OD'd on heroin was a state championship athlete who went to Harvard. He became addicted to pain pills from a sports injury. Was found dead before his 26th birthday.
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  • JHSJHS 18399 replies72 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's not just African-Americans with scholarships.

    One of my close friends at Yale, and a roommate for one summer, became a homeless person for several years. He was both a third generation Yalie and a second generation severe alcoholic. As far as I know he never graduated because he never completed the senior thesis he needed for his major. He had met all other graduation requirements, barely.

    He spent the two years after he should have graduated with the Peace Corps in rural Ghana, and functioned quite well, but returned with malaria and of course still alcoholic. Things blew up out of control once he had access to things with higher alcohol content than bush beer and palm wine. He spent 3-4 years as a street person in Washington DC. Ultimately, he got his life turned around, returned to his home city, started a small business, got married, had kids. Eventually, his life fell apart again, and again after that, too.

    He came from a family with enormous privilege and wealth. It didn't help.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22947 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My friend's brother died this summer after becoming a 'street person' (he usually lived in a hotel). He had a college degree, worked in London for 2 years as a broker or something like that, disappeared in Europe for a year, reappeared and took care of his mother for 2 years while she was dying, and then went back to his street person ways.

    He was really a delightful guy, just couldn't live in an acceptable way to his sisters, like in a home or having a job.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8564 replies250 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You don't have to be a drug addict to be homeless or near homeless. My deceased friend was a Yale graduate and Harvard MBA, he had a personality problem and could not hold a job, he was fired by a Fortune 10 company in the '70s and was never able to gain employment. Fortunately, he had good technical writing skill in his hobby and had some trusted clients who used him to act as a buying agent in New York Auctions. He did not make much money. He was lucky to get a rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan for next to nothing. In today's market, that apartment could worth several $ million to buy and upwards $10K/mo to rent. He paid less than $100/mo until his death.

    My friend did not drink, no drugs, no nothing, but he had a fiery personality who cannot work in a team. He constantly clashes with many friends and families and people close to him. Had he not having the apartment, he would be on the street for sure.
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  • onthewestfenceonthewestfence 240 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 17
    Not wanting to go too far off on a tangent, but Purdue Pharma, owned by the ultra rich Sackler family, filed BK two days ago, per Time.com, "as part of a tentative, yet controversial settlement with state and local governments."

    Is this all a coincidence that the alleged major contributor to the opioid crisis makes this business decision?

    “This is not going to require the Sacklers to pay back any of the profits they took out of Purdue from sales of OxyContin over the last many years. Not a dime,” Healey says. “How is this settlement being funded? From the continued and future sales of OxyContin here and abroad.” Healey says it’s “offensive” to her to “allow a settlement that allows Purdue and the Sacklers to continue to sell OxyContin when everyday people in this country are dying as a result of opioids.”
    edited September 17
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  • maya54maya54 2136 replies88 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 17
    “The article and his story are a good reminder that anyone can fall victim to drugs.”

    Agree that being educated, hard-working and trying to do what’s right may not protect against addiction if you are physiologically geared to do so.

    But no. Not “ anyone” is susceptible to addiction. I am not because of my own physiology. I get no pleasure from alcohol nor opioids nor several other things that are supposed to have this effect on a person and do for many many people. No “ relaxed” feeling, no pleasant buzz. Nothing, nada other than getting overwhelmingly and unpleasantly tired and getting a headache. I don’t like the “ it could happen to anyone” because I think it fails to really focus on the innate difference in some people. Indeed I wish there would be more studies of people like me to see if it could help others. I know I’m very very lucky even though many people think I’m being judgmental or “ no fun” because I don’t drink and they don’t understand that it doesn’t do for me what it does for them.
    edited September 17
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  • TatinGTatinG 6423 replies113 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A few weeks ago, a local park was set on fire. The park had a large homeless encampment. After the fire, volunteers with various groups went through the camp offering indoor shelter to those whose tents had burned. Almost all refused. Whatever the reason for being on the streets, certain things cannot be permitted. Just as vaccinations are mandated to protect the public, so too should it be mandated that when offered shelter, refusal is not an option.
    The diseases from the unsanitary conditions are a real threat to the public. And in California, the risk of a wildfire is a real nightmare scenario. Recall that homes were burned near the Getty Center not long ago, due to an unlawful campfire. It's fortunate no one was killed, this time.
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2805 replies154 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 17
    This is the socially acceptable way to become a drug addict. It is an overused excuse.

    Medical use of prescription drugs is rarely the primary reason anyone starts using heroin. Lifetime marijuana use(AOR 2.44), major depression or anxiety(OR 4.43), familial history of drug/alcohol abuse(OR 7.89 ), and PTSD(OR 8.68) are all stronger predictors of opioid abuse than being given an opioid prescription(OR 1.33).

    https://www.fda.gov/media/107789/download
    edited September 17
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