For many people, addiction and financial stress go hand in hand. Research, for example, has found a strong link between stress caused by debt or financial problems and the existence of depression or other mental health issues, though it’s not always clear which of these things comes first, and there is also an apparent connection between such issues and drug or alcohol abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction disorder or needs help coping with stress, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional substance abuse treatment facility. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 476-8320 to discuss your treatment options with a trained addiction recovery counselor.
Understanding the Link Between Addiction and Financial Problems
Drug addiction is a complex disorder, and there are many ways in which addiction may be related to financial stress. For example, someone who regularly abuses drugs or alcohol may find themselves experiencing financial stress due to their expensive habit, or may even lose their job because they are no longer able to perform their duties at work, causing them to accumulate debt or live in poverty. True to the destructive cycle of addiction, getting fired from work, living with high levels of debt, or constantly experiencing money problems can also trigger depression or anxiety that leads to drug or alcohol abuse, which can, in turn, result in financial stress. For people living in poverty, drinking or using drugs provides instant gratification and can help them escape their financial troubles, if only temporarily. Sadly, the consequences of this method of coping with stress can be physically, emotionally and financially ruinous.
The Financial Toll of Addiction
If you’ve ever suffered from an addiction problem, or know someone who has, you’ve seen the physical and emotional toll it can have on the addict and the people around him. Addiction puts a strain on relationships and causes serious health problems that can linger for years or result in death. Just as serious is the financial toll associated with addiction, and while it’s not always so easy to see, it can have equally devastating consequences. The following are the financial costs of addiction:
- Cost of buying drugs – Drugs aren’t cheap, and if you’ve developed an addiction, you’ll need to consistently take higher or more frequent doses to achieve the desired effect. Even a drug like alcohol or nicotine can drain your bank account with continued use. Consider smoking: A pack-a-day smoking habit costs about $2,160, or roughly 10% of an individual’s income at the poverty level. A hardcore drug addiction can easily cost half of a person’s income at the poverty level, or possibly even more, depending on the drug.
- Loss of productivity and income – Abusing drugs makes you significantly less productive, and poor performance at work may cause you to miss out on a bonus or promotion, or may even result in job loss. Many addicts end up in jail because of their drug use, which results in years of lost productivity and makes it more difficult to obtain employment in the future.
- Healthcare and insurance costs – Abusing drugs can have a serious impact on your health, which may carry with it increased medical fees and health insurance premiums.
- Legal fees – If you get arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may incur significant fees for legal representation, educational courses and drug-related fines.
- Foreclosure of property – Addiction can also result in missed payments, which, for a mortgage or car payment, may lead to foreclosure of your home or repossession of your vehicle.
Getting Treatment for Addiction-Related Financial Stress
Whatever issues you are experiencing in conjunction with your substance abuse – depression, anxiety or financial stress – it’s important that you find a rehab program that treats these issues as well, to improve your overall chances of long-term sobriety. Too often, treatment centers around the addict’s substance abuse alone, without identifying and addressing the underlying causes of the drug or alcohol abuse, which only increases the risk of relapse after treatment. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, financial training services are available to recovering addicts whose finances have suffered as a result of their substance abuse or whose addiction problem was spurred by overwhelming financial stress. The following are the three main components of the financial training program at BRS Rehab:
- Budgeting – Learning how to set aside money and save for the future is an imperative skill for recovering addicts for two reasons: First, if their financial problems are solved, they may be less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as coping strategies. Second, with their addiction problem out of the picture, they will have more money to spend or save as they please.
- Increasing income – Oftentimes, addiction and job loss go hand in hand. Learning how to hold down a job and increase your income can significantly improve your financial freedom and reduce your risk of relapsing because of financial stress.
- Investing – Investing is a great way to build wealth over time, especially for recovering addicts who may be starting over from scratch. After learning the basics of budgeting and increasing income, investing can help build a strong foundation for a more stable future.
Tips for Decreasing Financial Stress
Many people first begin abusing drugs or alcohol while coping with stress over money problems, and others experience financial stress as a result of their addiction problem. Whatever the cause of your financial difficulties, there are healthy and positive ways you can deal with this stress that don’t involve substance abuse. The following are some helpful tips for coping with addiction and decreasing your addiction-related financial stress:
- Get treatment for your addiction disorder – Seek treatment at a professional rehab facility that specializes in substance abuse recovery and financial training. These issues often go hand in hand and it’s difficult to treat one without the other.
- Create a household budget – Eliminate unnecessary purchases and keep your family spending under control by creating a household budget. Start from scratch if you have a budget that isn’t working, or if your financial situation is significantly different from when you created your original budget.
- Pay down your debt – Once you have a budget in place and know you can make payments towards your debt, create a debt repayment plan. If you don’t make enough money to satisfy your payments, contact a credit counselor to find out what step to take next.
- Take steps to remain in control – It’s easy to feel lost and helpless when dealing with significant financial stress, but doing something is always better than doing nothing. Talk to a financial counselor to determine your best course of action and communicate effectively with your creditors to let them know you are getting help.
- Find a healthier way to cope with stress – It’s possible you may face similar problems in the future, so it’s important to find a healthy and positive way to deal with financial stress, rather than using drugs or alcohol.
Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Can Help
Coping with stress is hard, and so is coping with addiction. Fortunately, there is help out there for both of these issues, especially if they are related. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction disorder or addiction-related financial stress, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 476-8320 to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor. With an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, you can significantly improve your chances of long-term recovery from substance abuse and financial stress.