5 Ways Addiction Ruins You Financially

Substance abuse causes a variety of complications and problems for families. Among the concerns that may arise when you or a loved one abuses drugs or alcohol is the risk of financial challenges. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that addictions cost the nation as a whole roughly $484 billion per year. Recognizing how those costs and problems impact your family can be an important part of encouraging a loved one to seek treatment.

Health Costs

A key cost associated with substance abuse is the cost of health care. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that substance abuse increases the risk of developing cancer, heart disease or being exposed to HIV and AIDS. When a loved one must seek treatment for the medical conditions that develop after a substance is abused, it can cost a small fortune for the entire family.

Healthy People states that a variety of health concerns can arise when an individual uses drugs or alcohol. The health concerns that may develop include:
  • Heart problems
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Development of mental health disorders
  • Complications with pregnancy for women
  • High risk of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Greater risk of severe accidents, both on the road and in a home
  • Higher rates of domestic violence and related injuries
The costs associated with medical treatments can add up quickly, especially if an individual becomes violent or drives a car while under the influence of a substance. The risk of an overdose can also contribute to the health care costs.

Paying for the Substance

The cost of the substance is another key part of the reason that drugs or alcohol can cause financial ruin. An individual who is addicted to drugs or alcohol will often spend a large amount of money on the substance. Expenditures that are related to the substance can vary; however, it often adds up quickly when an addiction has developed. An individual will try to obtain the substance, even if it costs more than they can afford.

Losing a Job

According to the Chicago Tribune, individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol may lose their job. An employer may determine that the individual is a risk or may be dissatisfied with an individual’s work ethic.Many individuals who are abusing drugs or alcohol are fired from a job. That can cause a variety of financial concerns, especially when it results in the loss of health insurance coverage and the individual had the primary source of income for a family.

Lower Paychecks

Even if an individual is not fired from a job, the Chicago Tribune notes that individuals may make less money due to missing work. A drug or alcohol can cause a variety of physical and emotional effects. Over time, an individual may miss work due to feeling ill after a substance is not used for a period of time or due to the use of the drug that prevents any interest in a job.When individual’s miss work, they are often cutting into their total income. While it is more obvious when a job pays by the hour, a salary may also be reduced when a certain number of days have been missed.

High-Cost Bills

Forbes explains that in some cases, the high cost bills and tickets that are associated with substance abuse can contribute to financial challenges. When an individual is pulled over for drunk driving, it can cost a small fortune to pay for the fees and related expenses. Those bills add up quickly, especially when an individual has more than one offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

An addiction to any drug, alcohol or behavior is expensive. The costs of paying for the substance, bills that are related to substance abuse and the loss of income or opportunities at work can result in a large financial problem. When you are worried that a loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible to reduce the risk of health concerns and limit the financial costs associated with substance abuse.
Sources: http://archives.drugabuse.gov/about/welcome/aboutdrugabuse/magnitude/ http://healthypeople.gov/2020/lhi/substanceabuse.aspx http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-health-addiction-families-story.html http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2012/06/19/the-cost-of-addiction-on-families/

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