What are the Financial Risks of Drug Addiction?

October 3, 2017 - - 0 Comments What are the Financial Risks of Drug Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease that devastates the lives of many Americans and their loved ones. However, not much is known about the very damaging financial effects of addiction that can drive wedges between partners and family, bury addiction issues further, become a source of depression and anxiety and in some cases result in criminal behavior.

The Financial Cost of Addiction

Drugs and alcohol are not cheap and when someone has an addiction, they have a compulsion that drives them to spend money recklessly. Counting the cost of a daily purchase of cheap six-packs of beer or cigarettes is sufficient to amount to a considerable sum over a period of time but when addicted to substances that cost more because they’re illegal and it’s not hard to see the cumulative expense addiction can bring into someone’s life.

People who are addicted to heroin can spend in excess of $10,000 a year and some are unable to work due to the severity of their addiction. Calculating how to afford to continue using can be a source of significant stress to someone in the grip of the disease and it is the most common reason behind a decline into theft or dishonesty.

It is when addiction has become a financial obligation that can never be met that the most damage can be done to someone’s personal relationships and also their own self-esteem. A common characteristic of addiction is obsessiveness and when someone becomes fixed on getting enough money to carry on using their behavior can become even more antisocial, creating barriers between themselves and the people that can help them.

Many women are particularly affected by the financial issues relating to addiction, particularly if they are caregivers and not earning an independent income. Women’s addiction treatment provides a gender-specific approach to treatment that factors in the financial circumstances that predominantly affect women more than men. Women’s rehab centers are particularly useful in providing the perfect environment to communicate about issues that are specific to women in addiction, including financial matters.

It is not difficult for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol to become a threat to their own financial security and often, that of those around them.

Poor Productivity and Loss of Income

One of the characteristics of addiction is an overwhelming sense of apathy, which can often lead to days off work or school, loss of concentration and subsequently, loss of earnings. Promotional opportunities or large portions of studies can be missed when someone is in the depths of the addiction disease and unless treatment is sought, considerable financial hardship can ensue. Dropping out of school is something many juvenile addicts do in order to free up their time to generate an income to feed their habit. Ultimately, no matter what age addiction occurs, the long term financial implications are undeniable.

Mounting Bills and Insurance Costs

The health problems associated with addiction inevitably lead to increasing health premiums or money that has to be diverted to treating the symptoms. At the same time, the loss of productivity and time taken away from work usually has a direct effect on an addict’s ability to earn money. The combination of escalating bills and declining income can cause additional stress and anxiety for someone with addiction issues.

The Costs for Women with Addiction

Women who are either pregnant or caregivers to young children are exposed to even more financial risk if they develop addiction disease. The cost implication of delivering effective treatment to save the lives of a mother and unborn child are considerable and the care issues raised for older children have the potential for additional expense for social services. The unique financial challenges faced by women with addiction are best-addressed by gender-specific women’s addiction treatment.

Financial Disparity in Addiction

Addiction is expensive and so it goes without saying that it has more income on low-income households than on more affluent people. Because of this, it is more common for an addict from a poor background to descend into crime to finance their addiction than it is for someone with a high income. Financial difficulties that extend throughout the family are also more common for someone on a limited budget trying to feed an expensive habit, which can cause stress and anxiety in close relationships.

It is an unfortunate fact that although addiction doesn’t discriminate in terms of who suffers from the disease, its financial impact can exaggerate the negative characteristics of an addict from a poor background more than for people who are relatively well off. Nevertheless, addiction is an additional expense that very few people are able – or prepared – to afford.

Women with addiction, who are staying at home to look after young children while being financially supported by a partner, can find it particularly difficult to raise the money to buy drugs or alcohol. This can lead to deception between couples that can escalate to irreparable damage. A women’s treatment center can provide the most effective support mechanism for women in this situation in an environment that is completely discretionary and non-judgmental.


Addiction is a financial burden no matter what the circumstances are although, for many female addicts, a lack of financial independence can make things much worse. Not only does it create miscommunication and deception in marital or romantic relationships but can prevent women from coming into the open and seeking women’s drug treatment. Fear of being judged harshly or being considered ‘less than’ is a significant obstacle to many women to checking themselves into a women’s rehab center.

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