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  • LETS TALK!: Financial Toll of Substance Dependence

    A place for community rundowns, special events and announcements from Counselling Online forums facilitation team.
    Senior Member
    Posts: 110
    Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:05 pm

    LETS TALK!: Financial Toll of Substance Dependence

    Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:43 pm

    Hello everyone

    As we all know, substance dependence can affect many aspects of our lives, some of those being our mental health, physical health and our social relationships. Todays topic I thought would be important to touch on would be the financial toll we experience from substance dependency itself. Becoming addicted to substances can be quite an expensive habit and can really impact our way of living and also those around us. When we are stuck in that vortex of addiction we almost always become blinded to the reality of its carnage. We tend to prioritise the substance use over other things without even being aware of it.
    Some examples would be struggling to pay rent, bills, loans, buy gifts for loved ones on special occasions, or even buying personal items for yourself. Upon speaking with people struggling with addiction some of them have recognised this pattern, knowing they need to purchase something but debate whether to spend that money, then finding themselves still funding their addiction. For example, have you ever caught yourself thinking “I really need a new pair of running shoes” but then debating if you can spare the $60-$100 for it, but are able to spend that money to feed your substance us?

    Take someone who may have an issue with alcohol, they might go through a six pack of beer every night and have been in this pattern for quite some time, the six pack on average might be worth $25 and across 7 days that’s already $175 a week, $700 a month, but buying a new pair of running shoes is still debatable. Not only are most substances expensive on their own, they can also affect our ability to be productive, therefore in some cases affecting our employment. Some people may lose their jobs resulting in even more financial hardship, not just for themselves but also for their family or the people they live with. Although some might think continuing to borrow money from a bank or loved ones would be the answer, it will still keep you stuck in that toxic cycle.

    If you are experiencing financial hardship due to substance dependence you can speak with the national debt helpline or even make an appointment with a financial counsellor to help guide you on what steps to take. You can read more on their website here: https://ndh.org.au/

    What was your experience like when you came to terms of the financial toll addiction has had on you? Are you currently struggling?

    If you’re a loved one and you’re also experiencing financial hardship due to another person’s substance use, what boundaries have you set that you can recommend others doing? What is your experience?

    What has your journey been like so far? Please share with us some of your experiences and how you have overcome obstacles so far.

    Any advice you'd give to other members trying to cope with financial stress?

    Even though it would be confronting and stressful to tackle the financial effects of substance use head on, it will give us the power to take the next steps towards making a change.

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