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The Financial Cost of Addiction

If you or someone you know has struggled with addiction, it’s more understandable to be able to pinpoint the intensity of the emotional toll it holds over not just your life, but those around you. It can put a strain on all your relationships, and affect your professional and personal life. When an individual has an addiction, it also brings about various health concerns. 

As a person impulsively abuses drugs, it can seriously harm and impact that person’s body. The worse part about this aspect is the harm that can happen to a person’s body can follow him or her for the rest of that person’s life. Even though the relationship strain and health issues are typically the first things we think about when it comes to addiction, the cost of addiction is also important. 

As reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it was estimated that the addiction and abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription medication, and nicotine had an economic impact on the American society of over $700 billion every year. Matter of fact, the opioid epidemic by itself fabricated an annual economic burden of $78.5 billion. 

The economic burden of addiction in the United States, according to researchers, is over twice of any other neurological disease. Matter-of-fact, purchasing drugs in the first place presents to be super expensive, but there are additional expenses when it comes to the following areas:

  • Social costs
  • Healthcare
  • Legal fees

It’s important to note that individuals who are addicted to drugs or substances also pose the risk of ending up with a loss of income. Today’s article will thoroughly explain the cost of addiction. The first connection is between financial hardship (poverty) and addiction. 

The Connection Between Financial Hardships and Addiction

By far, addiction presents to be the most expensive for the poor. If you consider yourself at the poverty level, a pack of cigarettes that is consumed daily can cost you 10% of your overall family’s income. An example worse than that is if an individual is engaged in heavy substance abuse, that person could very well be spending about half or more of his or her monthly income on drugs. 

Addiction holds the power of fabricating poverty in even future generations. Due to an individual’s substance and drug habits, his or her children pose the risk of struggling with time management, budgeting, and receiving insufficient education. Furthermore, it’s possible that the child can end up mimicking his or her parents and habits and developing an addiction themselves. 

The above-mentioned scenario is something no parent desires for his or her children. To expand on addiction’s connection with poverty, it’s also associated with it due to acting as a means of escapism. There are a plethora of individuals currently living in poverty who engage in substance abuse to avoid the extremely serious issues they might be facing. 

When an individual is living paycheck to paycheck and also struggling to even make ends meet, drugs often act as an instant gratification that is often missing in that individual’s life. The person feels that this instant gratification is virtually absent in every other area of his or her life, so that person succumbs to the release of the drug. Furthermore, the cost of buying drugs will be discussed. 

The Cost of Buying Drugs

If you currently have a drug or substance addiction, the cost of addiction can be extremely expensive, regardless of the substance. When you think about it, something as cheap as alcohol can end up draining a person’s bank account gradually. Especially if that individual discovers the need to use more of it to get the desired effect. 

To further put this more into perspective, if a person drinks a costly 6-pack of beer that costs $5 daily, that rounds up to $150 every month. Furthermore, that is almost $1,000 in about 6 months to continue supporting this habit. Now if a person were to replace the beer with more of an expensive drug such as heroin or cocaine, the cost will skyrocket. 

Some individuals easily spend over $100,000 every year to support their addictions. So as described here, the cost of addiction can be detrimental and life-changing. To support an addiction, much of a person’s life has to be sacrificed and lost. 

Alcohol and Drinking Drains the Wallet

Alcohol is considered to be the most widely used intoxicant in the United States. Approximately 86% of American adults have engaged in alcohol use at a point in their lives, and about two-thirds currently drink. On average, the “casual” drinker consumes about 4 drinks per week. 

If the above-mentioned drinks are consumed at a bar at about $10 a piece including tax, that rounds up to $2,400 a year. This doesn’t even begin to include the incidentals of drinking such as cover charge, tips, and cab fare. It’s important to note that individuals who abuse alcohol aren’t considered “casual” drinkers. Matter of fact, according to Washington Post statistics, the top 10% of drinkers, which is nearly 24 million Americans, on average drink 74 drinks per week or even over 10 drinks per day.

Marijuana Costs

Even though marijuana is considered to be illegal in the majority of other states, it trails behind alcohol and cigarettes among the most commonly used drugs. Over 78 million individuals surveyed self-report trying marijuana at some point in their lives. About 55 million individuals say that they used marijuana in the past year, and 35 million engage in marijuana use monthly. 

The overall price of marijuana varies for different locations because in some states it’s legal, and in other states it’s illegal. There are sample prices that can be researched for an ounce of marijuana, low-to-high quality. For example, in Colorado, it was estimated that the average marijuana user consumes about 3.53 ounces per year. 

Furthermore, roughly 52% of frequent cannabis users within the middle class “experienced downward mobility” and among the non-users, the rate came to only about 14%. 

Opioids Painful Prices 

Due to the new guidelines and rules that were orchestrated in response to the continuous opioid epidemic, there have been irreversible consequences such as the following:

  • Black-market prescription drugs are more difficult to obtain; hence more expensive. 
  • Opioid popularity has been resurgent. About 80% of heroin users have started out misusing prescription drugs. 
  • The easy-to-manufacture and cheap synthetic opioids have skyrocketed and are now considered the driving force behind various overdose deaths. 

The Loss of Income and Productivity

When an individual engages in drug abuse, it can make them notably less productive. You might begin to notice that you have been calling in sick to work, and when you do decide to make an appearance, the overall quality of your work is inferior. When you allow yourself to submit poor work performance, it can result in the following occurring:

  • Missed opportunities such as bonuses or promotions
  • A cut back on your shifts
  • You can lose your job

Many individuals are addicted to substances and lose their jobs or remain unemployed as a detrimental result of their addictions. Other people end up in prisons, long-term rehabilitation facilities, and jails. Furthermore, it can result in years of lost productivity. 

In addition, it can be extremely difficult for an individual to get him or herself back in the workforce after years of experiencing unemployment due to substance abuse. Retirement and social security can also be affected for an individual. Therefore, even after recovery, an individual can continue to experience the overall financial impact of the person’s addiction for years. 

As time goes on, the cost of addiction can be detrimental and cost individuals thousands of dollars. Especially in the overall loss of productivity. 

Insurance Costs, Legal Fees, and Health Care

As stated previously, being an individual who engages in drug use can result in serious health issues. Alone, that is already a huge threatening cost. However, it also comes with increased insurance premiums and healthcare. 

Another cost that might be overlooked is the increase in car insurance fines and premiums that can sustain as a result of an individual’s addiction. For example, getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs might result in a 300% increase in the following areas:

  • Significant legal fees
  • Insurance premiums
  • Jail time

The other payments an individual might need to make include:

  • Educational courses
  • Drug-related fines
  • Attorney services

The Costs of Addiction on Society 

The cost of addiction in society is considered to be extremely high. Drug addiction can cost society billions of dollars in the enforcement of drug laws, lost productivity, and health care spending. Addiction also has the power to result in missed payments, late fees, foreclosing of poverty, and unpaid debts. 

According to research, excessive drinking by itself cost the United States about $223 billion in law enforcement costs, lost productivity, and health care expenses in 2006. In 2007, there were similar issues relating to illicit drug use that cost the country another $193 billion. Therefore, for every $1 spent on substance abuse treatment, about $4 is saved in the health care costs. 

Furthermore, roughly $7 is saved in law enforcement costs. Drug abuse treatment not only saves people’s lives but also saves billions of dollars for the country as well. 

The Cost of Addiction Is Explained at Harmony Place

For many struggling individuals, the cost of rehab generally acts as the biggest barrier to seeking treatment. Ultimately, though, the cost of addiction outweighs the cost of treatment. If you or someone you know is in need of freedom from the disease that is addiction, contact us today.

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