The Cost of Not Getting Treatment

For many, the cost of addiction treatment is a major consideration when deciding if or where to get the help they need. After all, treatment is often a significant investment, and it is prudent to take your financial resources into account when making decisions for you and your family. However, the price of addiction treatment is not the only potential cost to consider; substance abuse can severely threaten your financial well-being, and not getting treatment is often far more expensive than paying for the care you need to recover

Income Loss

While the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents you from being fired or demoted for seeking addiction treatment, it does not protect you from performance or conduct-related consequences as the result of your addiction. If your substance use begins to interfere with your work and you don’t seek treatment, there is a strong possibility that your employment and, hence, your income will be compromised.

In addition to the monetary loss, you can also experience severe damage to your professional reputation, impairing your ability to find future employment.

Healthcare Costs

Addiction can take a heavy toll on your physical and psychological health. While different substances carry different health risks, all can produce significant damage that may result in both acute and chronic medical conditions requiring expensive care. A single trip to the ER following an overdose, for example, can cost more than a month in a high-end residential addiction treatment facility. In addition to the direct impact of the substance itself, addiction typically keeps you from self-care practices that promote good health, leaving you vulnerable to lifestyle-related illnesses that can result in significant, ongoing healthcare costs.

The legal implications of drug and alcohol addiction are numerous and varied, and can affect even those who use only legal substances, such as alcohol. The potential legal consequences of addiction and addiction-related behaviors include both criminal charges and civil litigation:

  • Possession charges
  • DUI and DWI charges
  • Assault and battery and other criminal charges
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Custody, visitation, and parental rights disputes

While criminal convictions may compromise your ability to work and lead to obvious loss of income, all legal proceedings that result from your substance abuse can carry serious financial ramifications. The cost of representation, monetary penalties, spousal support, and/or child support can be astronomical and cause lasting damage to your financial health.

Substance Use Costs

Feeding an addiction to drugs and alcohol can be expensive, and the cost only increases as tolerance builds and you require ever-growing quantities to achieve the same high or stave off withdrawal.

Eventual Addiction Treatment Costs

Deciding against paying for addiction treatment now increases the likelihood of higher addiction treatment costs in the future. Addiction is a progressive disease and, as with most other medical illnesses, outcomes are best if treatment starts early; if left to grow unfettered, you will eventually require more extensive and expensive treatment, as the illness has become more deeply rooted and there is more damage to reverse.

Similarly, cutting corners by not getting the best treatment the first time around can deny you the care you need to achieve lasting recovery, sparking a cycle of rehab and relapse that can quickly add up to many times what a single course of comprehensive treatment would have cost.

Personal Costs

While the financial costs of not getting addiction treatment can be considerable, the highest costs of not healing from your illness aren’t quantified in dollars and cents. The true price you pay for your continued substance abuse comes in the form of damage to the most vital parts of your humanity—your emotional well-being, your sense of self, and your ability to form meaningful connections with those around you. Addiction can rob you of:

  • Your authentic self
  • Your self-esteem, integrity, and dignity
  • The ability to live with purpose
  • The ability to create truly loving relationships

Effective addiction treatment is an investment that can pay dividends for the remainder of your life and ensure that life is lived with joy, honesty, and genuine connection to yourself and those you hold dear.

If you are ready to stop paying the high price of addiction and would like support, guidance, or advice, we invite you to contact us at any time. At Alta Mira, we are always available to answer any questions regarding addiction treatment and connect you with the resources you need to begin your journey toward recovery.