Who Pays for Drugs, Alcohol, and Rehab?

who pays

Who pays for drugs, alcohol, and rehab? In a strictly physical sense, the user pays for these things. Drug and alcohol addiction can drain your body of energy, and steady use can eventually kill you. While the user may pay the ultimate price, society, too, pays when a person struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol. The losses are, in many cases, measurable; what’s difficult to measure is how much, on a national, or even on a state-wide scale, is spent. Money involved in each step of the process comes from somewhere, and it may help some stay sober if they consider the immense financial impact that addiction to drugs and alcohol can have on anyone’s life.

In severe cases of addiction, a person can lose their lives, but if they are lucky enough to get to drug rehab, they’ll still find their life in tatters, having lost their job, their home, their vehicle, some of their friends, and possibly the legal right to be with their children. The cost of addiction is a difficult one to swallow for many people and for many families. There is no one individual who is affected by drug and alcohol addiction – everyone in a person’s community is a potential victim.

Users are the First Victims

the financial burden of addiction

The first affected by a user’s decision to use drugs and alcohol is obviously the user. The reason for using a drug will vary – sometimes it’s stress, sometimes it’s depression, sometimes it’s other psychological or mental issues. When regular drug use begins, however, mood, energy, and appetite changes are the first things that a person using drugs will typically notice. The other change is the change in finances. Not all drugs are priced fairly, and some will inevitably be expensive, but either way, drugs cost money, and paying for them is paramount to a full-blown addiction. Heroin users, on average, spend about $150 each day on the habit. Where that money comes from can be any combination of legal or illegal activity, making any drug an expensive habit.

With a steady stream of cash flowing into the hands of drug dealers and to any libation or nourishment desired, bills and other financial obligations inevitably pile up, making a user’s home a more stressful place. Using drugs alone isn’t a usual story, though – alcohol is almost always attached, even if the person isn’t struggling with alcoholism. Alcohol can cost more than illicit drugs – the number one drug in the world may take a backseat, but remains present.

Immediate Family is Effected

Whether you have a spouse and children or live with legal guardians, whomever lives with you will notice changes in your behavior, and your patterns. It’s very possible to hide addiction, but it’s not sustainable. Particularly in the case of addicted partners and parents, there is no way to remain addicted without raising red flags. Something as simple as increased tiredness or decreased libido could easily be the catalyst for an uncomfortable conversation with a significant other. Drug addiction not only alters your mental clarity and your state of mind, it also warps your sense of time. You’ll miss soccer practice. The children will be left alone at school for hours on end. You’ll forget your child’s medication. And so on.

In addition to those risks that come with being an addicted parent, people using addictive stimulants and alcohol may become violent to those around them. The violence that stems from heavy consumption of alcohol has been well-recorded, and it’s no surprise when a person struggling with alcoholism becomes violent and volatile. When the police are called, taxpayer dollars are used. If a domestic abuser is taken to jail, it costs to house, clothe, and feed them. A longer stint in jail could cost the job of the only person in a home that has a job, placing a family in a financially dangerous situation.

Your Productivity Will Drop

This rings true of most everyone living with addiction to drugs and alcohol, though it may not be the case at first. The first stages of addiction are rarely as intense, hence why people slowly lose themselves. Some may find that they’re spending less time cooking and cleaning, which can lead to more money spent eating out, and put extra work on those living with you.

People living with drug and alcohol addiction tend to show up late to work, work less, and cause companies to lose money due to lessened productivity. This pattern is obviously unsustainable; if you don’t show up on time and do your job well, you lose your job. The strain of job loss on a family can be devastating, and this can contribute to depression, making a user vulnerable to a deeper addiction. If you’re lucky enough to have insurance offered through your job, utilizing that to attend and pay for rehab for drug and alcohol addiction is essential, but there is still cost involved.

Insurance and Banks are Central to Treatment

Having a job that offers comprehensive health insurance is something that everyone wants. If your job has a good health insurance plan, it may also include rehab and psychological care services. Plenty of public, government-issued insurance plans also offer coverage for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Insurance, whether public or private, is another entity that pays when a person becomes addicted. The cost of drug rehab can be high – some facilities charge upwards of $65,000 for a month of treatment, though publicly-funded rehabilitation programs and facilities may cost as low as $5,000 per month.

Either sum is large for a typical person living in the United States, but the higher-end a facility is, the more they’re able to offer patients. It isn’t unusual for a person to require more than one stay in rehab to heal from addiction; opioid addiction is particularly difficult to stop, and some may need as many as three or four stints in rehab to be free of the throes of opioid addiction. Even after rehab, it’s important to make healthy, conscientious decisions that include staying away from situations that may tempt you to use or to drink.

People without health insurance have an enormous hurdle when it comes to affording rehab. Even the cheapest, state-sponsored programs cost quite a bit. In the case of a person living with addiction that is financially limited, taking out a loan to pay for rehab may be a solution. It is a better idea to first see if you qualify for government-sponsored insurance, but a larger loan from a bank is an option. The problem with loans is interest – the longer your load takes to pay off, the more money it will cost to finance the loan.

With the enormous cost of rehab difficult for some to imagine, and more difficult for many to afford, considering all of your options, including contacting the rehabilitation, your insurance, or a social worker assigned to assist you, will help you make the best decision for your future.