Perhaps the most obvious sign of drug addiction is the individual’s physical, mental and spiritual deterioration. However, these are not by any means the only damaging effects of drug use, as these chemical substances can actually dictate the individual’s every thought, decision and action. One of the lesser considered by still quite damaging effects caused by drug addiction is the individual’s extensive money problems.
Drugs and Money Problems
Drug use, abuse and addiction can place a heavy financial burden on an individual and his family in several ways. Drug substances themselves cost money, and as the individual grows tolerant of and then dependent upon these substances they often become even more expensive due to the fact that the individual craves more potent substances in greater quantities on a regular basis. Because continued drug use is of utmost importance to the individual, he will consider that drug acquisition is far more important than any other thing, which inevitably leads to extensive money problems.
Sober, healthy and hardworking individuals can sometimes experience money problems as part of the normal ups and downs of life. However, this does not mean that they will resort to dishonest or unusual solutions in order to overcome these challenges. On the other hand, a drug addict experiences money problems constantly and in quite a different way–adopting dishonest and unusual solutions in order to continue supporting their drug use habits. Following are some of the specific money problems caused by drug addiction:
● Valuables are sold for money. When cash is sparse or non-existent, the drug addict will often look for items he can sell. Whatever he may once have understood about property and ownership, avoiding the ever-present threat of drug withdrawals is far more important to him than respecting these values. Valuables, including those that do not belong to him and may even be considered family heirlooms, may suddenly go missing when there is a drug addict living in the home.
● The individual’s income no longer seems sufficient. This can actually go two separate ways, depending on the length and extent of an individual’s drug use habits. First, the individual’s income which once seemed sufficient to cover all their expenses no longer is enough. Second, the individual’s income actually decreases or disappears–either because they are no longer able to perform the job expected of them or because they are no longer even showing up to work.
● The individual cannot afford to buy food or pay his basic bills. Drugs become everything to the drug addict, and they often suffer from severe malnourishment as a result. Even if the individual tries to keep up appearances by purchasing groceries on occasion, their drug habits usually make it impossible for them to afford food or pay their basic bills–like rent and utilities.
● The individual has maxed out his credit cards, emptied his bank account and is asking for loans from family members and friends. It can be plainly obvious to others around the drug addict that his financial habits are in terrible shape, but again all he can see is the driving need to obtain more drug substances.
If an individual is struggling with money problems as a result of their drug addiction, it is critical that his family members and friends not support him as this will only enable further drug use. Even purchasing groceries for the individual–which may seem like a perfectly acceptable and humane thing to do–actually implies that the individual’s drug use is “okay” because they are receiving aid for a condition their drug use led to. The individual will have to confront the consequences of their actions in order to rise up to the challenge of dealing with them, and being essentially “forced” to deal with their money problems is one effective way of accomplishing this.