The negative impact that substance abuse has on families and communities cannot be overstated. There are severe consequences that affect mental, physical, and emotional health. Moreover, the emotional toll that individuals and families endure can be overwhelming. Another burden that arises in the face of addiction is of a financial nature. Preventing substance abuse is the best way to keep these financial consequences from piling up. 

The next best approach is to seek care from competent clinicians to mitigate the harm that addiction has already caused. Family-Centered Services can meet you and your family where you are to find a solution. If the financial consequences of addiction are starting to appear, seeking treatment for yourself or your loved one can help everyone get back on track.

Financial Consequences on the Individual and Family Level

When substance abuse is present in a family, it can undoubtedly take a financial toll. A combination of direct and indirect costs for addiction can add up to staggering amounts in the end, and it is easy for the situation to spiral.

The Costs of Substance Use

Addiction is expensive. The actual act of purchasing drugs or alcohol can be incredibly costly in itself. When someone is pouring significant amounts of money into their addiction, it can create an array of problems. This situation might be exacerbated if the individual is struggling with addiction in secret. In this case, their family might not have any idea how much money they are utilizing for this purpose until bills are not being paid or credit card bills are escalating. 

Affected Income

Another financial consequence is the loss of income that might occur alongside addiction. If someone is struggling actively with substance abuse, it is often hard for them to hold down a job. Addiction threatens the source of income for both an individual as well as their entire family. If someone is demonstrating poor performance in the workplace as a result of substance abuse, that could also lead to termination. Without a steady and reliable income, it is hard for families to stay afloat and take care of their basic needs.

Emergency Services

Further, addiction can carry unexpected expenses. For example, in the event of an overdose or other medical emergency related to substance use, the costs associated with ambulance rides and emergency room visits can skyrocket. If that emergency room visit necessitates a hospital stay, the costs continue to accumulate. This can lead to accruing debt, which is an added stressor after coping with the stress of a life-threatening emergency. 

Addiction Treatment

When a person is finally able to start treatment for substance abuse, it is a time that should be celebrated. However, it can also be yet another example of the financial consequences of addiction. While this can vary tremendously with each treatment center and whether insurance is being utilized, addiction treatment can pose a great expense for families. With that said, seeking treatment is necessary for someone to sustain recovery and break free from addiction, and it is difficult to put a price on that. Family-Centered Services prides itself on providing these invaluable services in a way that meets the specific needs of a family. 

Opportunity Costs

While the cost of purchasing substances, losing income, accessing treatment, and covering emergencies all directly stem from substance misuse, there are other costs that are just as important yet are sometimes difficult to see. One of these financial consequences is opportunity cost. When a person is trapped in the cycle of addiction, it is hard for them to move further in their life. Their goals are put on hold, and this makes it harder in the long run for them to get themselves and their families to a better position in life. For example, if someone’s career stagnates while they are coping with addiction, this can lead to lost earning potential from promotions or advancements.

Another indirect cost is the manner in which other individuals compensate for those with addiction. In some cases, family members might need to quit a job to help support someone in their recovery. Other people might face the opposite situation and need to take on multiple jobs to make up for lost income. Moreover, loved ones can take on enabling behaviors, which can carry their own financial burden.

Financial Consequences on the National Level

Substance abuse can turn the lives of individuals and families upside down. They are not the only ones affected, however. The broader community at the state and even national level is impacted when substance abuse is present. Alcohol abuse is expensive, costing the nation $249 billion annually, while the use of illicit drugs costs $193 billion annually. Additionally, addiction is associated with poverty, which can be economically and socially damaging to communities. Substance abuse is an issue that needs prompt attention because it is devastating to whoever is in its path. 

Diminished Workforce

When someone is unable to work, it obviously impacts that individual and those that rely on them financially. However, it also impacts the community as a whole; a decreased workforce is harmful for the entire nation. Lost revenue and supply chain issues can occur when companies lose valuable employees. This can have a catastrophic domino effect on communities particularly affected by substance abuse. 

Increased Demand for Services

When people in the community are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, they might utilize more services. For example, an area that experiences a great number of overdoses will see its emergency personnel responding to more calls. Additionally, if families are struggling to make ends meet, they might utilize financial assistance programs and other social supports. When budgets are already stretched thin, it can be hard to appropriately meet the needs of everyone in the community.

Addiction can make you feel like you are trapped with no way to fix the problems you are facing. Whether those problems are physical, emotional, social, or financial, there is a way out. With the right support, you and your family can thrive in recovery and take concrete steps to make life better for everyone. Family-Centered Services understands the overwhelming nature of addiction as a disease and recovery as a process. That is why our team of licensed and experienced clinicians offers robust support through services like individual and family therapy, a family recovery program, sober monitoring, and case management. Call us at (509) 991-5822 so that we can learn about your needs and develop an individualized care plan.