Originally Posted by alkemical
I wish it were as "easy" as meth is the answer...but IMO it's the rising psycosis/sociopathy in people.
You have to remember that most countries including the States locked up mentally ill people indefinitely well into the 20th century. That is no longer the case, but with the drift in parenting trends there is also a lot less focus on mental problems early on. Mostly we tend to attribute behavioural problems to either poor upbringing or in the opposite cases parents shield their children from treatment because they don't want to accept that their kids need help.
So you end up with a large fraction of kids who fail to finish high school because of mental issues, after they come of age many run away or leave home entering a world they are not prepared for. These are kids with no marketable skills and often unstable behaviour that has never had the treatment or even diagnosis they need.
All research shows that a huge number of both homeless people and drug addicts suffer some form of mental impairment. Not that many years ago these people would have been locked away in asylums or would have lived with their parents who would have kept them indoors to hide the shame of having a mentally impaired child.
Sadly, we do not have the institutions to deal with the borderline mentally ill unless they enter treatment early and continue treatment throughout adolescence and adulthood. Many of these people are being marginalized by society and end up in petty crime, addiction or at least possessing weapons for self protection - a dangerous cocktail when mixed with mental instability.