Alcoholism In America: The Overlooked Epidemic
7 Costs of Addiction…Did It Leave You Broke?
Addiction Costs Us:
- Family – We replace family relationships with substance abuse only to find that alcohol and drugs leave us empty.
Addiction affects our family both directly and indirectly. When we are actively using, we are emotionally and sometimes physically unavailable. Indirectly: the family worries about where we are, if we are safe, if we are eating, and if we are alive. Directly: we argue, we are defensive and we avoid our family due to our addiction.
- Friends – We use our friends to feed our addiction and remove those from our lives that challenge our dependency.
When we are using, we are irritable, miserable, and difficult to engage in a healthy two-way friendship. Our friends are negatively impacted by our substance abuse and their help is often rejected. In drug rehab, we learn how to rebuild our friendships while eliminating substance abuse.
- Finances – We put our families and ourselves in debt in order to support our addiction.
We spend a lot of money on finding and using our drug of choice to maintain euphoria. Unfortunately, this will cause a great decrease in our finances and increase our stress and frustration. We find that we are unable to manage our bills, and often times seek out family members or friends for financial assistance. Some of us have resorted to stealing in order to pay for our habit. The type of situations that we place ourselves in order to afford using can be dangerous and can jeopardize our psychological and physical health.
- Employment – We miss work, lose jobs, and have a difficult time organizing or managing our time.
We are physically sick and mentally tired which negatively impacts our performance at work. It is difficult to manage taking directions from others especially when we are actively using. We say ‘yes’ to directions but then do whatever we want, or worse, forget what was asked of us.. Before you lose your job, many substance use disorder treatment programs will work with your job by working with your supervisor to get the time off needed to complete a program.
- Education – Educational goals are put on hold or lost due to our substance abuse and addiction problems.
Many of us have college goals that become derailed as a result of experimenting with drugs and alcohol in high school. When addiction has taken over, dropping out is often the result. Neglecting our educational goals is another way that this is evident.
- Sanity – Drugs and alcohol take over our thoughts and we lose our sanity and sound judgment. Detox is the beginning of regaining consciousness.
Our ability to think clearly gets corrupted by alcohol and drugs. Addictive thinking patterns cause behaviors which can sometimes be impulsive, risky and self-defeating. We lose our ability to be rational when we are in active addiction. Rehabilitation is needed to change our addictive thinking patterns and behaviors.
- Health – Part of our insanity in addiction allows us to stay in denial about our failing health.
Physical health gets worse with continued alcohol and drug addiction. We develop stomach issues, high blood pressure, headaches, and the list goes on based upon the type of drug being used. Many times we chalk up being sick to anything other than our addictions.