Everyone is aware of the high cost of addiction. It can ruin families, relationships and careers; but do you realize how much addiction can break you financially? Addicts and their families pay a hefty financial penalty for continuing an addiction; this loss can be in the form of wages, job opportunities, and expenses relating to your addictive substance. There is also a large financial cost to society to care for addicts in the form of law-enforcement, rehab programs, health care costs and housing costs of prison. Included here are a few ways addiction will affect your personal finances.
The most obvious cost of addiction is in purchasing your substance of choice. Alcoholics who drink a cheap six-pack of beer each day are facing yearly costs of close to $2,000. If your addiction lies with hard alcohol or spirits, the costs could easily triple. For those with serious medication abuses or illegal drugs, you could be looking at costs nearing $20,000 per year.
It is no secret that individuals struggling with addiction will begin to have problematic symptoms that bleed into their everyday lives. An especially damaging aspect of addiction can surface within the workplace. Your likelihood of missing work more often as an addict is increased and can damage your opportunity for promotion.
Individuals from the same socioeconomic backgrounds can have very different potential incomes when one struggles with addiction. Your ability to show competence and availability for promotions will decrease as well as your performance on the job. Many people suffering from addictions will have made several choices that resulted in less education and lost income. Over a lifetime, addicts will see fewer job opportunities and have less earning potential than their peers.
Have you ever been drinking and decided to drive yourself home afterward? Everyone is aware this is an incredibly dangerous game to play, yet thousands are arrested for DUIs on a regular basis. Studies have shown that being arrested for a DUI can spike your insurance costs by as much as 300%. Even worse, if your car insurance deems you are too big of a risk, they may drop your coverage completely.
The high cost of addiction affects more than just external factors. Many addicts face more health problems than others throughout their lives and can deal with greatly increased health care costs. You may find yourself faced with higher out-of-pocket costs or even larger premiums due to your chronic condition.
Disproportionate Effect on the Poor
The cost of addiction can wreak havoc on your finances, especially evident in those who are lower-income to begin with. A pack a day smoking habit for those around the poverty level can result in as much as a tenth of their income being eaten by addiction each month. It is easy to see how this habit can have a devastating effect on poor families.