What Is the Price of Addiction?

Published: 17th August 2014
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For the price that a heroin user can spend on getting high every week, that person could instead sit in premium seats at a broadway play, go skydiving, relax at a luxury spa, have an intimate dinner with friends or family, and purchase a premium gym membership. And that's just in one week! For the price that an alcoholic spends on booze every week, that person could do virtually the same thing.

So, what is the price of addiction? According to one source, statistics show that drug abuse and drug addiction cost Americans nearly $500 billion annually. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can cost the user their self-esteem, dignity, relationships, home, finances, reputation, job, hope, children, spouse, and, most importantly, their lives. But it's not just about what the user loses; the price of addiction places an enormous weight on the shoulders of the community, society, and even the population at large, as well.

Substance dependency upsets individual well being on an emotional, physical, cognitive, and monetary level. In many cases, spiritual well-being is also disturbed. The reach of addiction knows no bounds and obeys no commands. This is not to imply that addicted persons are blameworthy - that would be too hasty of a conclusion and does not resolve the whole issue. Even contemporary jurisprudence recognizes the imperative of altruistic treatment over blame and punishment.

But there are substantial consequences to the dependent lifestyle, regardless of how people feel their dependency may or may not be affecting themselves and others. It is therefore important to bring forth the negative impacts of substance abuse to foster a valuable awareness. Its potential value is fully realized when dependent persons are connected with the price they pay for their dependency, and that a life free from addiction offers much more. Hopefully this awareness will act as a catalyst that leads to the pursuit of treatment, which will contribute to a reduction of the emotional, physical, cognitive, monetary, legal, communal, and societal costs of addiction.

Dependency both causes and is caused by chemical dysfunction in the brain, familial problems, relational issues, anxiety, self-esteem issues, low mood, depression, and a host of other undesirables. This bidirectional list of causality extends ad infinitum. And yet it matters not the degree or amount of these issues that one suffers - there is always a price to be paid for substance dependency.

Unfortunately, though, the cost is not often realized until it is too late since addiction drains life slowly. Dependency can systematically dismantle a person's livelihood, which is certainly a consequence of addiction. It is critical that consequences such as these are appreciated so that they are attended to appropriately. The field of science, the realm of law, and the survivors of dependency all fervently endorse treatment. Treatment addresses addiction itself, past history, emotion, cognition, consequence, family, behavior, and many other important pieces that comprise the addiction puzzle. In understanding these pieces, those in need may see that the cost of addiction is too high, and the benefit of sobriety has been wholly unnoticed.

This emphasizes the importance to tame and ideally conquer one's dependency. How is this done properly? That is the subject of passionate debate amongst anyone with an opinion. The truth of the matter is not easily understood or settled, of this much is sure. But regardless of what path is chosen to deal with substance abuse, it is important to engage in treatment and start taking action - to lasso addiction, and mitigate or eliminate the damage it deals and the malice it can sow in people's lives.


This article was provided by Passages Malibu addiction treatment center. This article is for those seeking information for themselves or their loved ones about the financial cost of chemical dependency. Passages treatment program for chemical dependency is provided in a one-on-one setting, utilizing most advanced alternative treatment methods.

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