Addiction knows no boundaries.
It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
You may not even stop to think about it and before you know it you're dealing with being addicted to drugs and alcohol or knowing someone who is.
While you may have never given it much thought, addiction is also costly.
Sure, it affects your health, your life, and your finances, but there are other costly factors at play here too.
Take a moment to consider the actual cost of addiction, then ask yourself if your addiction is worth the cost?
Addiction alters many families' lives.
The enormous costs here stem from court issues, treatment facilities, child welfare, and other fees that stem from addressing their loved one's addiction.
Families pay for the price of addiction in more ways than just financial.
Addiction is also costly in terms of time, energy, and emotions.
Many trips to court and rehab dramatically change family dynamics.
They must also take on a lot more responsibilities that their loved ones are shirking because their addiction is more important to them.
As these negative outcomes continue mounting, the addiction becomes a self-fulfilling cycle, since it's now used to comfort and escape.
Children also pay a steep price when their parents become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
This is because their parent's addiction is causing confusion and stress in their lives, especially when their parent is suddenly missing from their lives.
Unfortunately, this can also result in the child experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It's also important to remember that children learn behaviors from their parents.
When parents indulge in their addiction in front of their children, they're more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol themselves.
Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are manipulative.
They will frequently use their intimate knowledge of their loved ones against them.
If their addiction causes them to become violent, it's typically those who are in a close relationship with them who suffer the most.
Many loved ones will make an excuse for those who are in addiction.
They'll also make exceptions and compromises hoping to retain their relationship.
These actions only enable those in addiction to continue with their addiction.
It's not only those who are closest to you whom you will hurt, you'll also break your entire social circle eventually.
As your addiction takes deeper root in you, people will lose faith in what you say you'll do.
This is especially true when you start lying to and stealing from these people.
Your brain learns to be so manipulative that it'll get whatever it wants, regardless of the cost.
While you can't force your loved ones to quit their addiction, you can stop enabling them.
This is challenging, but it helps to remember that this behavior is a symptom of a disease, not a direct reflection of who the person is.
With this in mind, you should know that enabling your loved ones doesn't aid in their recovery, nor does it save your relationship with them.
People can be harsh.
They tend to judge others based on their own biased opinions.
As such, those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are unjustly labeled as "dirty."
While you may say that you don't care what other people think of you, the way you're labeled is the way you're treated.
As someone with an addiction, that means you're treated as though you can't be trusted.
This is especially true if you're also homeless.
Society will then be even harsher in judging you since it makes quick judgments based on appearance.
You'll notice this as people tend to give you a cold shoulder when you attempt to interact with them.
Although this may seem unfair to you, it's impossible to change these stigmas and biases.
As if the social cost of being addicted to drugs and alcohol wasn't enough, there's also a monetary cost.
If you sat down and calculated how much money you spend on your substance of choice each month, the figure would surprise you.
When you lose your job due to your addiction, none of these things will matter, anyway.
Instead of worrying about the cost of treatment, concern yourself with the cost of your addiction itself.
You may be a functioning addict now, but there will come a time when you can no longer work and keep up with your addiction.
Before this time comes, seek professional medical treatment.
We all realize that addiction can be fatal.
Even if it isn't fatal, it results in irreversible damage to your body.
Unfortunately, many people decide to turn a blind to this cost because their addiction makes them feel better.
Although your addiction may have started as a way to self-medicate your pain (whether emotionally or physically), it can end by destroying your life.
This is the ultimate cost of addiction - one that very few people can escape without seeking help.
If you're addicted to drugs and alcohol, it doesn't have to be the end of your story.
Sobriety is the best choice you can make.
Even if you're fortunate enough not to lose your life to your addiction, living with the regrets that come from being addicted to drugs and alcohol can be bad enough.
There are many extreme ways (e.g., physical, psychological, emotional) that your body responds to your addiction.
You'll bear the scars of these transgressions for the rest of your life.
This is because emotional regrets leave scars that linger.
Think of these as a reminder of your addiction - one you didn't ask for.
Most people don't realize the actual price of their addiction.
If you've turned a blind eye to your addiction until this point, we want you to know that there's help available to you.
At Overcomers Counseling, our therapists are licensed and trained to help you overcome your addiction.
When you're ready, contact us to schedule an appointment so we can help you take your first step down the path to recovery.
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