Compared to other young people homeless youngsters are more likely to start taking drugs at a younger age and to take them more often. However, little research has been done into the specific factors that lead homeless youngsters into drug taking. A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles looked into this issue in a sample of 156 homeless youngsters, aged between 15 and 25. They found that the youngsters who perceived their health as being worse and who had poorer coping strategies were more likely to have bigger drug problems.
Nyamathi, Adeline ... [et al] - Correlates of Substance Use Severity Among Homeless Youth Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(4), 214–222