Substance use and homelessness in veterans is interconnected; however, little is understood regarding how veterans perceive their substance use as it relates to their homelessness. This gap in knowledge inhibits our understanding of barriers and facilitators to substance use treatment for veterans experiencing homelessness, and addressing it will provide an opportunity to identify areas for improvement in substance use treatment services for this population. Using grounded theory and content analyses of semi-structured interviews with veterans experiencing homelessness, this study assesses how homeless veterans perceive their substance use as it relates to their homelessness and how those who use substances perceive services provided through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Findings indicated that veterans experiencing homelessness identified substance use as an important, and often contributing, aspect of their homelessness. Additionally, perceptions of veterans’ experiences received through the VHA were mixed; positive perceptions included feeling supported by the VHA, while negative perceptions included challenges knowing about and how to access the services. By shedding light on how veterans perceive their own substance use as well as the services available to them, this study is a first step in guiding interventions that better incorporate veterans’ experiences and unique needs.
|Commitee:||Janke, Amy, Ramirez, Michelle|
|School:||University of the Sciences in Philadelphia|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Psychology, Social research|
|Keywords:||Health policy, Homelessness, Substance use, Veterans|
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