When a person suffers from an addiction, it can have a serious impact on their financial stability. Substance abuse is not a cheap habit by any means. Addiction to a substance like alcohol can be expensive. If you go out to a bar every night and have a few cocktails, that’s $30-$40 extra dollars you could be putting away for yourself. Addiction to drugs can also be a costly habit that is not easily broken. Drugs like cocaine or prescription drugs can be even more expensive than alcohol. Over time, as dependency grows stronger, the bank account balance will slowly but surely deflate.

Yes, addiction can have a severe impact on a person’s financial status, but that’s not the only cost we are talking about today. Addiction can have a literal and figurative cost, affecting relationships, physical health, and mental health. Let’s discuss what addiction can cost you in life.

What are the Costs?

There are 4 areas of life that addiction will have an impact on: financial status, relationships, physical health, mental health.

Financial Status

There’s no denying the fact that addiction can be a costly habit. Drugs are not cheap, and even if they are considered cheap, they are sold cheap so that you are encouraged to buy more. Some drugs like meth and heroin are extremely cheap and potent, creating what seems like an “affordable” habit. However, what happens most of the time is abusers of these substances get so addicted that they develop a dependency which causes them to buy more of the substance in order to get the desired effects. If a person develops a dependence, they’ll develop a tolerance which means the ‘normal’ amount of a substance they usually take will not have as significant of an effect as it used to on them. This could cause some to spend $100 every week on their habit. Though most people may feel they could control something like this without creating a dependency, the nature of addiction says otherwise. Even addiction to alcohol can be costly over time. Some people will spend upwards of $30+ on nights they go out and others will spend just as much on alcohol for their own personal stache.

A habit like this can develop easily and can be nearly impossible to control. Not only does a habit like this cause turmoil in your bank account, but it can cause problems with things like the cost of living. Addicts often neglect the cost of living because they are too focused on putting their savings towards their addiction. This can cause them to neglect saving money for more important things like car payments, house payments, rent, food, clothing, What happens most of the time is these things are neglected which causes these individuals to wind up on the street. Not only does addiction have a serious impact on your financial stability, but it can also greatly affect your relationships.


The relationships an addict has developed throughout their lives can be tested when they start to develop a substance use disorder. Some are able to maintain relationships, but that does not mean they aren’t being tested. When a person is suffering from addiction, they become selfish people be driven by a desire to use whenever they can. They’ll start to neglect important responsibilities and relationships if it means they’re getting in the way of their habit. Some addicts even develop mood swings which can create an appearance that is unappealing to most. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking these selfish actions are their own doing; it is only because the toxins from substances have rewired their brain into something it is not.

Relationships with a person suffering from substance abuse can be hard to maintain, any relationship with a person that seems to only be driven by their own desires can be tough. That is why marriages, families, and friendships often fall apart when someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Relationships are one of the most significant aspects of life that are tested in addiction, but so is physical health.

Physical Health

A habit like drug or alcohol abuse can only end negative consequences. At the cost of physical health, addicts continue to use substances despite the pain they are causing themselves. Addicts fail to realize that a substance abuse disorder can cause some serious health issues in the long run. Even short term substance abuse can cause turmoil in a person’s physical health.

When substances are used in excess, they can do irreversible physical damage. Some of the most significant effects drugs and alcohol can have on a person’s physical health are as follows:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Increased chances of injury
  • Organ problems
  • Increased chances of disease
  • Poor immune system
  • Poor skin health
  • Heart problems
  • Brain damage
  • Increased chances for developing cancer

There are a significant amount of physical health problems that addiction can cause, but it can also cause some serious mental health problems as well.

Mental Health

One of the more serious problems that addiction can cause is problems with mental health. As we mentioned previously, substance abuse disorders can cause some serious brain damage. This not only means your ability to learn and develop is impaired, but your overall mental state is put in jeopardy. Let us help you understand this better. When we experience something that is pleasurable, our brain’s reward system (also known as the mesolimbic reward pathway) is flooded with dopamine. Dopamine is the hormone in our body that is most closely associated with happiness and well-being. This can happen when we make someone laugh, when we eat food, have sex, and when a person uses drugs or alcohol. The amount of dopamine that is released while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is massive, which makes the act of substance abuse that much more desirable.

When this kind of dopamine rush is continual, something called downregulation occurs. Simply put, downregulation is when a person develops a tolerance and the normal amount of dopamine released while using drugs or alcohol becomes less satisfactory, encouraging the person to use more. This is where we start to see how influential drugs and alcohol can be on the brain. An individual will start to become dependent on substances to feel any sense of happiness. If one of these individuals were to stop or even lessen regular use, the outcome could cause some serious mental and physical turmoil.

There are many other parts of life that addiction can affect, but these are some of the most significant. Addiction is a disease that can send a person’s whole life down the drain. Sometimes, all it takes is one use to create an addiction. Be careful with what you put in your body, you have no idea how bad substances can be for you.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.