We’ve all seen a movie or TV show documenting someone’s spiral into addiction. Losing things on the way down—jobs, friends, significant others, their health, and of course, money.
But addiction costs more than that; it also has other, less visible costs. Some are temporary, like the friend who left months prior reappearing to help you into rehab. Some are permanent.
Let’s illustrate all the costs – obvious and hidden – so you can see the full scope of the toll substance abuse takes.
3 Obvious Costs of Substance Abuse
- FINANCIAL INSTABILITY. Spending your money on alcohol or other drugs can lead to unemployment. Bankruptcy. Loss of housing.
- MEDICAL BILLS. Hospital stays, treating injuries sustained while under the influence.
- INCARCERATION. Maybe you drove under the influence, had an accident, stole something to feed your addiction, or assaulted someone. This is a high cost; you’ve lost your freedom, and now have numerous financial consequences that come with loss of freedom.
These are serious, no question. This is the “rock bottom” commonly pictured as addiction spirals downward.
However, these aren’t the only costs paid by those suffering from addiction. They’re not all financial either…in fact, some are much worse.
4 Hidden Costs of Substance Abuse
- Emergency Room Visits. An overdose or accident under the influence can land you in the ER in minutes. Even if you have insurance, you may still have hefty medical bills dropped in your lap overnight.
- Clear Thinking. One of the first, and most insidious, costs paid. The ability to make a conscious decision, to give attention or affection to someone…gone.
During treatment, some of our clients have told us that they could not recall the last time they had a clear thought!
- Relationships. Significant others, friends, family…some will be there to support you, if you decide to get clean. Some will not accept you back into their lives, no matter what you do.
- Careers. Many professions require trust from the customer. If you don’t trust a surgeon to operate on you successfully, would you still have the procedure done? Of course not.
Unfortunately, an addiction can destroy trust forever. Even if you complete treatment and stay clean, you’ll have serious trouble entering some career paths due to your history.
Everything Costs Us Something. Substance Abuse Can Cost You Everything.
Now you know. If you’re the one using drugs or alcohol, let this be a reminder of what you’re risking. Yes, the drug may feel good now…it may take away physical pain, or numb you emotionally. But it will cost you much more than money. It may cost you your future. It may cost someone else their life, if you’re driving under the influence.
If a friend or loved one is the one using, what should you do? We will write more about this soon. But for now, remember two things:
- Action now takes much less effort than action later.
- A local Drug Rehab center will have resources to aid you. Search for your nearest center and contact them today. We serve Northern California, for example.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I should show this to Bob/Jill,” please do. Copy this link & send it to them: https://supportsystemshomes.com/blog/
No one should have to pay all these costs…and realizing they exist is the first step to avoiding them.