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ItemDoes drug use lead to homelessness for young, disadvantaged people?McVicar, D ; Moschion, J ; van Ours, J (Royal Statistical Society, 2019-06-01)Drug use among homeless young people tends to be higher than drug use among those who are not homeless. Is that because drug use causes homelessness, as is often assumed? Duncan McVicar, Julie Moschion and Jan van Ours investigate.
ItemEarly illicit drug use and the age of onset of homelessnessMcVicar, D ; Moschion, J ; van Ours, JC (Wiley, 2019-01)We investigate the effect of taking up daily use of cannabis on the onset of homelessness by using Australian data. We use a bivariate simultaneous mixed proportional hazard model to address potential biases due to common unobservable factors and reverse causality. We find that taking up daily use of cannabis substantially increases the probability of transitioning into homelessness for young men but not young women. In contrast, the onset of homelessness increases the probability of taking up daily use of cannabis for young women but not for young men. In a trivariate extension we find that the use of other illicit drugs at least weekly has no additional effect on transitions into homelessness for either gender but there is a large if imprecisely estimated effect of onset of homelessness on taking up weekly use of such drugs for young women.
ItemFrom substance use to homelessness or vice versa?McVicar, D ; Moschion, J ; van Ours, JC (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2015-07-01)Homelessness is associated with substance use, but whether substance use precedes or follows homelessness is unclear. We investigate the nature of the relationship between homelessness and substance use using data from the unique Australian panel dataset Journeys Home collected in 4 surveys over the period from October 2011 to May 2013. Our data refer to 1325 individuals who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We investigate dynamics in homelessness and substance use over the survey period. We find that the two are closely related: homeless individuals are more likely to be substance users and substance users are more likely to be homeless. These relationships, however, are predominantly driven by observed and unobserved individual characteristics which cause individuals to be both more likely to be homeless and to be substance users. Once we take these personal characteristics into account it seems that homelessness does not affect substance use, although we cannot rule out that alcohol use increases the probability that an individual becomes homeless. These overall relationships also hide some interesting heterogeneity by 'type' of homelessness.