Put simply – addiction is expensive. People are familiar with the “upfront” costs of addiction such as the cost of purchasing drugs/alcohol, the social cost of buying drugs/alcohol for friends and the impulsive purchases made while under the influence. Additionally, there are many hidden costs of addiction that people may not be aware of. While the actual addiction is expensive, it’s the hidden costs of addiction that will ruin a person’s financial health, their credit score, as well as the ability to find and keep a good job. The following are the 6 most expensive hidden fees of addiction:
Loss of productivity. An individual is less productive while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This frequently leads to missing work and poor job performance while at work resulting in a greater chance of unemployment.
Illness/physical deterioration. While using drugs/alcohol an individual is less likely to exercise and make healthy food choices often resulting in high blood pressure and digestive complications. Behavioral issues may arise as well, impacting an individual’s physical well being. The use of alcohol and other drugs may lead to a variety of issues including cancer, dementia, depression, seizures, nerve damage and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) just to name a few. With poor health come high insurance premiums, expensive hospital bills, and costly medications.
Insurance cost. If an individual has even one DUI, they will be paying close to 300% more for car insurance. Health and Life insurance also become much more expensive, that is if an insurance company even qualifies a person for these policies. Want more drunk driving facts? Click here!
Legal bills. Divorce, DUI, arrest warrants, attorney fees, fines, and educational courses are just a few of the costs that someone who struggles with addiction to substances will face. In addition, dealing with the court system is very time consuming, and we all know time = money!
Loss of income. Someone struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction is going to find it difficult to complete higher education often resulting in a lower average income for a lifetime. Keep in mind, social security/retirement benefits are based on earned income so the impact is felt years down the road.
Bad credit. There are always fees associated with late payment of bills. This can result in higher interest rates on credit cards. Continued late payments will lower credit score. Bad credit not only makes it difficult/impossible to buy a home but can also hinder the ability to get a good job.
The best way to move forward and get back on track with your financial well-being is to begin dealing with the addiction head on and set a realistic personal budget. There are many online tools and personal bankers that can help you with this. Here are a few tips to think about in developing a healthy budget:
- Pay bills on time.
- Pay down and existing debt.
- Create a “cushion” - keep 3 months income in savings in case of an emergency.
- Start/continue to put money away in a retirement savings account.
- Review your bank accounts frequently – check for errors!
- Look for ways to save money – pack lunch a few times per week!
- Set goals for yourself – Do you want to pay off a loan in 2 months? Do you want to save a certain amount of cash every pay period?
Keep in mind, no one can turn their financial health around in a month or two – it may take years. The key to success is to stay consistent, make small goals throughout the year and re-evaluate your situation as often as possible. If you are still struggling with an addiction, take the first step and call to get an assessment. Spending money on treatment is an investment and will pay off in the end! To set up an assessment – call 773.883.3916 or email New Hope Recovery Center.
Written By: New Hope Recovery Center
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