Addiction can be an expensive habit, regardless of your drug of choice. In the short term, drug addiction can wreak havoc on you financially. In the long run, however, drug addiction can lead to serious health problems, including heart attacks, and serious life threatening infections, such as HIV and Hepatitis C. In addition to health problems, many people with addiction issues have difficulty maintaining employment and problems with relationships. Given the cost of addiction (in more ways than one) it is well worth the price for individuals with substance abuse issues to consider entering a drug abuse treatment program or rehabilitation center.
The Cost of Using
Cost can be defined in many different ways. One way to look at the cost of addiction is in strict dollars and cents. Regardless of your drug of choice, think about how much money you spend every month feeding your habit. Now think about what other things you could be doing with that money. Instead of letting drugs take their toll financially, you could be saving your money to go on the vacation of your dreams. Perhaps you could be using that money to dig your way out of credit card debt. There are plenty of other, less harmful, things you can be spending that money on instead of on supporting your addiction.
If you want to break down the economics of how much money you spend on your addiction, try noting how much money you spend each time you purchase, and calculate it out for the entire year. For example, the average price of a package of cigarettes is roughly $7.00, depending on where you live. If you are a moderate smoker and smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a week, you are spending $70 per week. If you multiply that by 52 weeks per year, you are spending $3,640 annually on cigarettes. Keep in mind that these calculations are based on a moderate smoker, who averages 1-2 packs per day. If you are a heavy smoker, averaging 3 or more packs per day (or over 10 packs per week) you are spending quite a great deal more money for your addiction to nicotine.
Another way of thinking about the cost of addiction is in terms of relationships. RecoveryFirst states that individuals with substance abuse issues divorce at 4 times the rate of that of the general population. Alcoholism and drug addiction impact the entire family, not just the addict. Children of alcoholics often struggle with their own issues around addiction. Additionally, relationships with alcoholic parents are often strained, since children are placed in the position of covering for the addicted parent and caring for them when they are unable to take care of themselves. Children of addicts suffer higher rates of depression; anxiety; child abuse and neglect than children who do not have parents suffering from addiction.
The cost of using can also boil down to straight economics. One of the largest financial factors for many addicts comes down to being unable to maintain a job. Many employers today subject employees to random drug testing. For states that do not allow random drug testing, employers will often require potential employees to undergo a drug test before beginning employment. Most employers have a zero tolerance policy for anyone who fails a drug test. Depending on the industry, drug tests may be mandatory if there is a workplace accident.
Once securing a job, there are additional problems facing addicts. According to the American Council for Drug Education, individuals who are using drugs are 10 times more likely to miss work and are almost four times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident. They are also typically 33 percent less productive than their coworkers who are not using. As a result of addiction issues, many people with substance abuse problems end up having difficulty either getting a job or staying employed, placing additional stress on their family.
Choosing a Drug Rehab Program
Working towards sobriety is not an easy process for most people. In fact, it is very common to try several drug treatment programs before finally finding one that is a useful fit for the long term. There are several ways to determine if you are really ready for recovery:
Keep Track of Your Use
One way to figure out if you are ready to make the changes necessary is to keep track of your drug use. You might be surprised to discover just how much you are using on a regular basis. You can even keep track of how much money you are spending over the course of a month.
Evaluate what is Important to You
You can also make a decision to go into rehab based on what is being affected by your continued use. Your family or spouse may be threatening to leave if you continue using. Your job may be on the line if you do not enter recovery.
Think About What is Preventing You from Changing
You may have obstacles standing between you and recovery. Think about what you need to happen for you to really commit to making a significant life change.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a drug treatment program. If you are planning on using your insurance to pay for treatment, you need to understand what kind of treatment your policy covers. Substance abuse rehabilitation programs vary in length from a few days to several weeks to several months. Rehab programs can be “outpatient”, where patients stay at your own home and attend classes and counseling sessions at the treatment center, or “residential”, where patients stay at the treatment facility for a determined length of time and attend counseling sessions and classes.
Another factor to consider is the geographic location of the treatment program. There are thousands of drug and alcohol rehab centers across the United States. If you find a program with qualified staff that you want to attend, contact them for program details. Some treatment programs have multiple locations around the country and may be able to find a program that is closer to you.
You may need to attend a drug abuse treatment facility or class that is geared to your profession. For example, attorneys and doctors often require specialized treatment programs that include counseling to address their specific legal and professional requirements. Many of these programs include assistance to patients as they return to their work environment. Assistance can include, but is not limited to, local support meetings and sponsors.
Any kind of rehabilitation is not an easy process. It is important to choose a program that will provide you with the skills necessary to maintain your recovery once you leave their program. Since addiction affects all members of your family, spouses, parents and children should be an integral part of almost any recovery program. Considering the cost of substance abuse from almost every angle, if you are ready for recovery, then it is well worth making the call to a treatment program today. If you need to go through several programs on the road to recovery, at least you are not alone. Who knows, maybe you will run into a famous celebrity while you are getting straight.