What is The Cost of Addiction?
If you or a loved one is suffering due to addiction, you may have already started considering what your life would be like if you could quit. One thing that you may not have thought about, however, is the cost of your addiction, both in terms of actual money and in less tangible terms. While admitting you have a problem and seeking treatment at a rehabilitation center or another drug and alcohol treatment facility can seem daunting, if you think about all of the things you stand to gain, it’s an offer too good to refuse.
Addiction Hits the Wallet Hard
Everyone knows of course that whatever substance you’re addicted to—whether it’s illegal drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine, alcohol, or prescription drugs, or even other substances and behaviors of addiction—ends up costing you a lot of money. As you need more and more to get the feeling you’re looking for, you spend greater and greater amounts of money. But there are a lot of expenses that people simply don’t think about when they consider how much their addiction costs them. Addicts and alcoholics generally suffer from poor health; taking drugs or drinking lowers the immune system and essentially poisons the body over time, which results in doctor’s visits to treat infections, illnesses, injuries, and more. Those doctor’s bills would rarely come up if you were clean and sober—that would be money in your pocket, instead of money going to someone else.
Another way that addiction hits your money is in lost opportunities. Many people think that addicts are all jobless, homeless, or low-wage earners. Many addicts are actually—on the surface at least—achievers in society, working a 9-5 job, supporting themselves. However, their addictions keep them from earning more money; because they are tired, or their minds are not strictly on their work, or they’re having to stay home “sick” due to a hangover or the aftermath of an overdose, they lose out on chances to get a promotion or a bonus, and make more money. So not only is their addiction taking money out of their pocket, it’s keeping them from earning more money.
Not All Costs are Dollars and Cents
There are some costs associated with addiction that can’t be put into numbers, of course. Some of the things that your addiction takes away from you are not as simple as a doctor’s bill or a lost bonus, but they should be counted as well. If you have suffered from addiction, you know that your condition puts a strain on the people around you. All addicts face it to varying degrees; tension, fights, and stress all come along with the rest of the difficulties of addiction. In a real sense, this loss of relationships can be a physical cost—it can prevent you from getting ahead, from making contacts that would help you to a better job. But even apart from the financial difficulties, losing the ones you love to your addiction is a major cost—and one that everyone who has paid it would very much like to get a refund on.
If you were to start calculating all of the costs that are associated with your addiction, from things like career opportunities to bills and expenses, to the loss of happiness and camaraderie, and compare it to what drug and alcohol treatment would cost, there would be no contest in terms of which is the better value. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, it is important to seek help sooner rather than later—lest the ultimate price, death, come into play.