The opioids and synthetic opioids are so powerful, one should not be suprised that addicts destroy their minds and emotions. Living on the street is their only real option if the state does not incarcerate them
We are in the third opium war at the moment. No one really seems to notice or want to stop it.
As far as the addicted/homeless…not a popular opinion among some but every one of them should be moved into shelters outside of populated areas (because of ready access to the things that are killing them) and treated for mental issues and addiction. There is no “lose” in that situation. To allow people to live on the streets, slowly (or in some cases quickly) rotting away, incapable of changing their behaviour, being a harm to themselves and others, is not my definition of a civil/compassionate society. Suicide is illegal, so they say, but as long as it’s at the end of a needle or a crack pipe, or a bottle, it’s OK apparently.
The McMenamins Edgefield outside of portland used to be a poor farm, have stayed there dozens of times. A place like that, that can give people help and purpose, like supporting their own/local community through farming, trades etc, is the way it should be.