cost of addiction

Cost of Addiction

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

Addiction’s Common Story

The clear financial cost of addiction is a burden that can easily leave you in ruins. But the signs of the impending disaster are not always obvious to those lost in substance abuse. Because of this strange personal blind spot, it often comes as a surprise to the one experiencing it. The reality is, addiction carries a high cost. It is a price that is broader than most understand.

On the Surface

Once a person falls into an addiction, the math seems fairly straightforward. Conservatively speaking, let’s say you buy a 5-dollar, 6-pack of beer a day. Multiply that by 30—that’s $150 per month. In half a year, you have spent over $900. That’s conservative, and it rarely stays at just once six-pack. But maybe you think that is an affordable expense. It’s steep, but some feel it’s worth it.

Addiction’s Slippery Slope

Of course, when you get a little deeper, things get worse. The problems and costs incurred develop exponentially. And before you know it, things are out of control.

Alcohol is actually a good example. It seems fairly affordable. Maybe it starts with the said six-pack or a bottle of vodka a week. You drink a couple nights on the weekends, and it seems like an affordable stress reliever. All the time you are forgetting that addiction is always a slippery slope. And addictive substances are not safe or easily controlled. Soon the couple nights a week becomes most nights, then every night. From there the addiction takes a stronger hold, and the drinking crosses over to the day.

That in itself is going to be a financial problem, but there are even bigger issues.

The drinking gets heavier. The hangovers become more common, and work begins to suffer. Soon your sick time is dwindling; your vacation is given over. And your boss notices you are gone way too much. Losing your job is a real possibility if you keep following the path of addiction. In fact, People with addictions lose their jobs all the time. According to a survey by SAMHSA, one in six unemployed workers are addicted to drugs or alcohol. How’s that for the cost of addiction? But there’s more.

Bad to Worse

Once you lose your job, you will also likely be out of your health benefits. Addicts have more health problems than the rest of the world. With or without insurance, health care costs. So does dental. So do emergency room visits and the rehabilitation that comes with overdosing on drugs or alcohol.

Beyond that, there are other likely costs to come. Totaled cars. Alimony. Lawyer expenses. The average cost of a single DUI in the United States is $1,000. Add to that the possible restrictions you might encounter and car insurance increases, and you are talking about multiple thousands of dollars. Oh, and there is jail time to think about. And it just continues on this path.

True Poverty

As you can see, the ruin comes from multiple directions, which is why it feels like it comes from nowhere. However, things can get even worse. The biggest cost of addiction comes because your substance abuse affects more than you. It affects everyone around you. Yes, everyone. Your neighbor, the cars on the road, the kids on the street. The people in your own life.

“The research increasingly shows that children growing up in homes with alcohol and drug-abusing parents suffer—often greatly,” says SAMHSA acting administrator Eric Broderick. “The chronic emotional stress in such an environment can damage their social and emotional development and permanently impede healthy brain development, often resulting in mental and physical health problems across the lifespan.”

Addiction Is a Family Problem

Not only do individual children suffer, the entire family suffers in dysfunction. In the family life of a person with an addiction, there will likely be a good deal of negativity, inconsistency, denial of issues, lies and hiding, emotional repression, rampant self-medication, and more. Of course, this says very little about the powerlessness and devastation that a loved one experiences when their father or mother, son or daughter, spouse or significant other is overtaken by addiction.

The Real Cost of Addiction

When the cost of addiction is being counted you have to take everything into account. Usually, the monetary value of satisfying an addiction is rarely thought about. However, the ramifications are vast. If you or your loved one are currently in the cycle of addiction that is wrecking your financial stability and in the process attacking everything else in your life, it is time to look for help.

It is certainly about saving money. That is a very real part of finding recovery. However, getting the help you need will save more than that; it could save all that you hold dear. Offering those closest to you hope and a future, and best of all—offering them you.

Getting Help

Is complete ruin on your horizon? Do you need help figuring out how to get out of the heavy burden of drugs or alcohol? Please call us today. Our addiction specialists will help you understand all your options and get you headed in the right direction for lasting recovery: 888-590-0777.

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