Addiction affects every aspect of someone’s life. There are emotional and biological components that each person needs to address in addition to the social elements involved. These aspects often come up first in recovery as they may be impacting someone in the most immediate way. However, there is always another underlying factor in recovery: the economic impact. Addressing finances can be a difficult topic as many people who suffer from addiction may not realize how much they have been spending while feeding the addiction, or how many other things have been sacrificed. Monetary complications can bring their own stresses, so it is important to address the economic impact that addiction has on an individual, as well as their family and loved ones.
Discovering the Monetary Impact
Many people who suffer from addiction don’t realize exactly how much they are spending while fueling the addiction. For people who suffer from an addiction to alcohol, they are more often thinking about where they can get their next drink or bottle, rather than how much that drink or bottle costs. When addressing addiction, especially during the beginning of someone’s recovery, showing them the economic impact of their drinking can be a huge surprise. Calculate an estimate of how much they spend and ask what they would want to do with that sum of money. Depending on the answer, it may even spur the beginning of their goal-setting.
It can also be here that someone realizes that their monetary struggles may not have as much to do with their salary, but rather their spending habits. Someone who isn’t watching how much money is being spent on a particular addiction may believe that they have less economic stability than they actually do, and their addiction is what is standing in the way of them accomplishing other goals. Discovering this monetary impact is the starting point for someone realizing the different opportunities that are available to them if they cut back, or eliminate, the spending related to their addiction. Combining this with the biological, social, and emotional factors, it can paint a comprehensive view of what addiction looks like to them specifically and encourage them to make the profound choice to change themselves.
It Carries an Impact on Many People
Realizing the economic impact also involves addressing the monetary effects on everyone else. In cases of addiction, it is common that family and loved ones all begin to front the money for particular necessities, or otherwise provide essentials free of charge to the person suffering from an addiction. This can be providing money directly, but can also take the form of various necessities that should also be calculated when addressing the financial impact. Looking at how much food that is being bought for someone instead of them having to buy it for themselves, if rent has been covered or provided free of charge, or other monthly payments or doctor visits are all being covered by a person other than the one suffering from addiction all need to be calculated. All of these aspects go into determining the financial impact that someone’s addiction has had on their lives.
Developing a Plan
Knowing the many ways that addiction has impacted someone financially is the beginning. Next, someone needs to develop a plan in which to deal with the impact and begin regaining financial stability. The first and most influential way to begin tackling this aspect of addiction is also a common practice through many parts of recovery – asking for help. Many of the other people impacted are the most knowledgeable about the financial situation overall. Sitting with them and having them help develop a budget, or even getting their help in handling one’s own money directly can take the stress of management off of the individual in the beginning phases of recovery. This can also help in relapse prevention, as urges may be the most intense during this time of detox and intake.
Make it Visual
Keep a list of everything that is being bought and keep the receipts, regardless of how big or small the purchase. This can be another way of visualizing the economic impact. Even small purchases can add up over time without someone being aware. This can show someone how many of their purchases may not be necessary, and where their money is going on a day-to-day basis. Visualization is key in many aspects of recovery, and addressing the financial impact is no different.
Needs and Wants
Another aspect is to simply divide essential needs and someone’s personal wants. Budget out and pay for the essentials as soon as someone can. Then, someone will know how much money they truly have for other aspects of their lives, and how much money they can spend on trying new hobbies.
Use a Monetary Element in a Rewards System
Using one’s own income can be a rewards system on its own. By setting daily and weekly goals, someone can reward themselves with a certain amount of money that they are then allowed to spend on themselves for their own enjoyment. For example, if someone were to go a week without purchasing alcohol, they can then reward themselves with a certain amount of money that can still be used for themselves, and begin a practice of replacing their addiction with other, healthier purchases.
The financial impact is something that many people may not want to address at first. However, it is still a very real aspect of addiction, and managing finances is a crucial part of recovery, as well as a crucial life skill. Work alongside others, as well as visualizing the different ways that one’s own finances have been impacted, can all help someone develop the necessary management life skills needed in recovery and beyond.
Lighthouse Recovery Texas is aware of the holistic nature of addiction and works with each person on an individual level in order to address their own needs. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and the many impacts that it has on an individual, as well as their family, contact Lighthouse today. The economic aspect of addiction recovery is just one facet that needs to be addressed and dealing with all of the different ways in which addiction has affected someone’s life is a complicated ordeal that requires the help of caring, professionally trained staff. With personalized programs geared towards each individual’s needs, there is always support for anyone to take their first steps into recovery.