Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Attention A T users. To access the combo box on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Press the alt key and then the down arrow. 2. Use the up and down arrows to navigate this combo box. 3. Press enter on the item you wish to view. This will take you to the page listed.
help for homeless veterans

Stay Connected with the VHA Homeless Programs Office

Sign up for email updates.

Contact the Homeless Veterans Outreach
Veterans Crisis Line Badge

VA Homeless Programs


HERS - Opioid Use Disorders and Homelessness


HERS - Opioid Use Disorders and Homelessness

February 2, 2017

The opioid epidemic in the United States has had a profound and deadly impact.  A decade of rising prescription opioid use and misuse, followed by a surge in the use of illicit opioids has led to overdose and death. Opioid use disorders are particularly hard on Veterans who are homeless or at risk for being homeless, where prevalence of mental health conditions and substance misuse is high and access to health care often problematic. The National Center on Homelessness among Veterans (the Center) has explored this issue with Homeless Programs Office leaders and experts on substance use disorders and homelessness to develop a set of policy recommendations designed to complement ongoing Veterans Health Administration efforts in mental health and primary care.  The rationale and caveats for these recommendations was presented and discussed at the HERS roundtable on February 2, 2017, the fourth of these series hosted by the Center and moderated by Center Director Thomas O’Toole, MD.  The event provided an opportunity for a wider vetting of the issues and set the stage for future education and training of staff who work directly with Veterans affected by the opioid epidemic.  To view the presentations for this Roundtable and the archived webinar with audio, please see the link provided below.

Roundtable Panel

  • Thomas O'Toole, MD, Director, VA National Center on Homelessness, and National Director, Homeless PACT Program, Veterans Health Administration - Moderator
  • Stefan G. Kertesz, MD, MSc, Birmingham VA Medical Center and Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham - Presenter
  • Matthew Doherty, MPA, Executive Director, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Karen Drexler, MD, Deputy National Mental Health Program Director, Addictive Disorders, Veterans Health Administration
  • Keith Harris, PhD, Acting Homeless Programs Director, Veterans Health Administration
  • Noelle Porter, MPH, National Alliance to End Homelessness

To view the presentation and the webinar with audio, please use the following link:

HERS Proceedings document:  Opioid Use Disorders and Homelessness


*To search the entire site, please use the search bar in the upper right corner of the webpage