Substance misuse and co-occurring disorders take an enormous toll, both on the person who develops the addiction and everyone around them. While most people think about the cost of drug or alcohol addiction in terms of physical, mental and emotional health, there is also an undeniable financial cost of addiction and recovery that affects not only the addict, but also their close family members and friends.
Financial services firm True Link recently sought to quantify the level of economic difficulties that surround the disease of addiction, including personal bankruptcy. In their nationally representative survey, they uncovered some genuinely eye-opening statistics, including the fact that 82 percent of respondents said their loved one with a substance abuse disorder experienced negative financial effects as a result of their addiction.
Addiction Can Destroy Personal Finances
Even if your drug of choice is relatively affordable, the expenses associated with habitual alcohol and drug use add up quickly when your tolerance keeps increasing and you must buy more and more of the substance to experience the desired effects.
There are other personal expenses associated with long-term substance abuse, including insurance and legal fees. For example, if you get charged with a DUI, not only will your car insurance premiums drastically increase, but you will need an attorney – and your bank account will, correspondingly, take a hit. You may end up depleting savings or retirement accounts to fund your habit or borrow money from friends and loved ones, promising to repay the loan, only to realize you can never make good on that guarantee.
Once you lose control of your finances, it can be a massive challenge to rebuild, which is one of the biggest hurdles people in recovery must overcome. Finding an addiction treatment program that offers coaching in life skills such as budgeting and fiscal responsibility can be a positive step.
The Cost of Addiction on the National Economy
Of course, substance abuse isn’t only a problem on the individual level. It’s also essential to consider the impact it has on our economy, in terms of factors such as missed productivity and drug-related crimes.
A 2016 report from the U.S. Surgeon General calculated that the yearly annual economic impact from the misuse of prescription drugs, illicit drugs and alcohol totals a staggering $442 billion. The report defines alcohol and drug misuse and related disorders as “major public health challenges that are taking an enormous toll on individuals, families and society.”
Seek Qualified Treatment for Your Addiction
For more than a quarter of a century, New Found Life has offered evidence-based treatment for men and women to learn to manage the disease of addiction and go on to live healthy and fulfilling lives. If you are ready to break the cycle of substance abuse, reach out to us today to learn more about the lifesaving help we provide.