Last Updated on January 24, 2020 by Morris Green
Eight in ten adults with a loved one who has a substance use disorder (SUD) say that regaining financial control is one of the biggest hurdles in the recovery process. Financial hardship is a likely effect of addiction that can even lead to financial ruin or bankruptcies, so looking after financial well-being is as vital as physical and mental recovery from substance abuse.
Substance Addiction Affects Personal Finances
The costs of addiction are sinister, often creeping into a person’s life before they realize it. For example, you might have a difficult time paying your credit card bills due to the amount you have spent on alcohol. Over time, your bills pile up, and you realize too late that you are being sucked into an endless cycle of debt.
According to Detox.net, a severe drug or alcohol addiction can easily cost an entire lifetime of earnings if an individual can still maintain their normal job. For example, for a heroin user, a single use bag of the drug typically costs between $5 to $20. Taking the average price of a bag at $10, it will cost $450 a month to pay for the drug. That’s nearly half a month’s salary if you’re only earning a minimum wage.
Dealing With Financial Problems
Clearly, kicking the habit has also enormous financial gains. The good news is that there are several ways to restore financial health. Getting back on track with your finances is part of the recovery process from dependency on drugs or alcohol. In addition to treatment for your addiction, the rehab process will also involve extensive work in personal financial organization to reconstruct your life that was derailed by your poor habits.
Start by listing and acknowledging all your outstanding debts. The list should also include all recurring costs such as rent, mortgage payments, credit card bills, car loans, insurance costs, food and utilities. Find out which unnecessary expenses eat up your budget, and focus on the basics such as food, shelter and utilities. Include treatment expenses too, as your health and well-being are critical in financial recovery.
Planning For The Future
Together with a counselor or a trusted advisor, you will look at your options for how to pay back debts and bills. In this regard, preparing a detailed budget can help determine how much money you’ll need to pay for basic expenses and what amounts you can pay back on debts.
As well as preparing an itemized budget, you should also list the sources of funds that you can use to pay for recurring expenses and money owed. Your counselor can refer you to several resources offered by federal and state organizations to help you get back on your feet. Getting extra jobs, no matter how small, can also assist in increasing your income.
Addiction to substances and alcohol has devastating consequences, with financial hardship a major and dangerous outcome. In addition to physical and emotional recovery, it is critical to undergo financial reconstruction as part of an overall rehabilitation program. Regaining control of your finances will help sustain and maintain your recovery.