Objectives: Homeless youth are at a high risk of substance abuse, mental illness and blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis C. In this paper, we review the implications of these conditions, discuss the unique challenges faced by homeless youth, and explore potential strategies for harm reduction and intervention in this vulnerable population.
Results: Interventions that combine youth-centered, service-based care, street outreach, case management, and motivational interviewing with integrated health services such as hepatitis A/B vaccination, and mental health and substance abuse programmes, are presented as innovative approaches to address the healthcare needs of homeless youth.
Conclusion: Recommendations for age-appropriate interventions and further research are made.
From the aUCLA School of Nursing
bDavid Geffen School of Medicine
cUCLA School of Social Welfare
dUCLA School of Nursing Health Center at the Union Rescue Mission, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
eIntegrated Substance Abuse Program, 11075 Santa Monical Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Correspondence to Adeline Nyamathi, ANP, PhD, FAAN, UCLA School of Nursing, Room 2-250, Factor Building, Box 951720, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1702, USA. E-mail: email@example.com