Financial Impacts of Addiction

Every year people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on various substances. Many people look at the cost of prescriptions as being exorbitant, however, in all actuality, the street value of substances far exceeds the costs of those purchased legally with prescriptions. For example, it was noted through a collection of data that at one point the money made from the sales of illicit substances, alcohol, and cigarettes comprised nearly 3% of the gross domestic product for the United States alone. This means that in a dollar amount, it accounted for nearly 130 billion dollars. In 2017, Australia was noted as having spent over 13 billion dollars on illicit substances. Going along with this statistic is the fact that those who were purchasing these substances were spending over 110% of their weekly income, which means that there was a deficit in their household income.

Along with this statistic, Lee Miller, Wei Lu, and Bloomberg stated in their article that in the same year, 70% of the illicit substances that were purchased were either cannabis or methamphetamines. Furthermore, breaking down the cost, even more, the cost of substances across the globe ranges quite a bit, but the prices are still extremely high based on their country of origin. For example, one kilogram of cocaine in Europe costs over $50,000, in the United States it costs over $30,000, and in Costa Rica, it costs just under $10,000. All different prices, but all relevant to the conversation of the amount spent on substances. Looking at the price listed for the US alone, that is the average household income of a lower-class family and depending on the household size, this yearly income would place them as being below the poverty level. When put into perspective, it is hard to imagine that an entire year’s salary could be spent on something that disappears so quickly.

Forcing Yourself to make Choices

When an individual opts into substance use, no matter the reason, they are impacted physically and mentally based on what they are experiencing within their lives and the effects of the substances. However, the financial impact also takes a large toll on users. Depending on the stage of a SUD, money may be pouring into the addiction in a way that there is no room for any other purchase. In some cases, people may be forced to choose between a substance or a physiological need. There is the choice of whether they would rather have food, electricity, water, a car, and in the worst of cases a home, or put their money towards their substance of choice instead. Even in the early stages of a SUD there is money here and there being put into substance use that could be going elsewhere, and even $10 or $20 here and there can begin to add up very quickly. Not to mention, when larger dollar amounts are being spent, there is nothing to show for where a person’s money is going, it’s just simply gone, as is what they’re spending it on. If a SUD is further along, there is also the chance that people will end up making a choice about whether they continue to go to work or whether they gravitate towards seeking out and using substances. Then, not only is there a loss of income, in some situations, people are placed in a situation where they choose to engage in negative activities in order to find some means to be able to obtain the substance of choice. Inevitably, it is a vicious cycle and one that can have the tendency to go from bad to worse fairly quickly.

Lack of Savings

Since the cost of substances tends to add up quickly, it can be hard to save money. Being able to save money is important for many reasons such as in preparation for the future. If you have a family, this can be imperative for financial security. Many families often have a household income that can pay for monthly expenses but doesn’t afford them to save money beyond that as it is, which can make money going to substances even more difficult for the rest of the family unit. In some cases, there may be family vacations that the family would love to have, or maybe a larger vehicle would be a good investment, but the money simply isn’t there because it’s going towards substance use. Making good decisions for yourself, especially when you have a family of your own, will only bring more positive results to everyone in your life. Choose to break use your resources to your advantage so that you have the opportunity to build savings, get back on your feet, and stop contributing to an industry that has a negative impact on the lives of so many.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, it is likely that you’re not making yourself a priority. Financially speaking, there may be many things that you’ve wanted to save for or things you’ve wanted to buy or do, but your money is going to the wrong things. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Put your money into something that will make a tremendous positive impact on your life. Call us today at (805)719-7954.

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