Addiction takes a toll on every aspect of your life, including your health, mental and physical wellbeing, relationships, employment, and even your finances. The economics of addiction aren’t overly complex, and the result of addiction is almost always the same: financial ruin. But there are a number of ways that substance use can have financial consequences, and some of them aren’t always obvious.
The Basic Cost of Substance Abuse
It’s no secret that drugs and alcohol aren’t cheap. But you may not realize just how expensive they are until you actually look at the numbers. The cost of a single drink or one hit may not seem like much, but when you look at the annual cost of regular use, the numbers are staggering. Alcohol is at the lower end, and some regular users may spend one or two thousand a year on drinks. But with drugs like crystal meth and heroin, the cost of use over a year can skyrocket to between $5,000 and $10,000. The cost of substance abuse is not merely financial and will take a serious toll on the body and mind.
Loss of Employment and Pay
There are plenty of ways that substance abuse can affect your paycheck. For one, people who abuse drugs and alcohol miss work much more often than people who don’t. And if your paychecks are based on hours worked and not a salary, then you lose money every time you miss work because of addiction. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for people abusing drugs or alcohol to be fired due to absenteeism and declining work habits. And once you lose a job because of substance abuse, you may have trouble finding another job. Any professional licenses you had may be revoked, and employers may refuse to hire you if your substance abuse has led to any criminal charges.
Legal Complications and Fees
Drugs are illegal, so it’s common for substance abusers to require legal services, and these don’t come cheap. A lawyer may charge anywhere between $200 and $1,500 per hour for services. Not to mention the time lost if you end up in jail or have to spend a lot of time in court. Divorce and custody battles are also common in families where substance abuse becomes a problem, and those are both expensive legal issues as well. Furthermore, substance abuse can lead to irresponsible spending, and in extreme cases, this can lead to vehicle repossessions and foreclosures.
Medical and Social Services
Because drugs take such a toll on your physical and mental health, the necessary medical services must be considered as well. Not only that, but you should be prepared for your medical insurance to increase as well, on top of your car insurance (this is particularly true in instances where a person abusing drugs or alcohol is caught behind the wheel). And if you are caught driving under the influence, you can expect your driver’s license to be revoked, which will cost money to get back again.
Substance abuse isn’t cheap, but the issue is much more complicated than just totaling the actual cost of drugs or alcohol. Addiction takes a huge financial toll on individuals and their families, and there are myriad reasons for this. The true cost of substance abuse is the burden it places on many aspects of a person’s life, including in terms of employment, health, family, social services, legal services, and more.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, it may help to know that you’re not alone, and that help is available. Addiction treatment isn’t free, but the costs of going to drug rehab pale in comparison to the financial burden of substance abuse. Call Beachway at 877-284-0353 anytime for help. if you have any questions or need help for yourself or a loved one.