Guest post by Kyle Kam
Between hearing about the President’s war on drugs and learning all about what addiction is, you might be wondering exactly how substance abuse ruins lives. It’s a fact that substance abuse does more than ruin a person’s health and relationships; it can also destroy your finances.
A person addicted to illegal drugs deals with a very heavy financial cost. Their addiction and the need to fuel it also affects their friends and family – in more ways than is often told. Dr. Luis F. Dumlao, Dean of the John Gokongwei School of Management wrote that it doesn’t take an elementary school graduate to see the harmful effects of substance abuse, but here’s a look at how illegal drugs can destroy your finances.
Spending to fuel the addiction
Addiction is fueled by any number of factors, and while addicts eventually become aware that the addiction is unsatisfying, they will take in more of it in the hopes that consuming more provides the satisfaction or the relief they crave.
On average, a smoker will spend Php 45,625 a year on cigarettes – the nicotine in which creates an addiction. Imagine then how much someone addicted to any number of illegal drugs will spend to get a fix. In the US, it’s estimated that someone addicted to methamphetamines will spend $ 4,000 a year or more. That’s Php 186,378 a year – or more – if the addiction is worse.
Loss of income
Someone heavily addicted to an illegal substance needs it to function – more than they have a drive to get up in the morning to work. They will miss work frequently or eventually quit because of their addiction.
An illegal substance reduces a person’s ability to think clearly, if not function at all while they ride out the high. As a result, they will miss out on the possibility of adding more income. The loss of a source of income to allow them to keep buying their drug of choice will eventually have them selling possessions in order to get more cash to get more drugs.
It only gets worse as the addiction spirals out of control. They will resort to borrowing money irresponsibly, or much worse, just to be able to get their high.
Bills and other costs
Too much of anything is never good for one’s health – this is truer in the case of substances that can actually cause deterioration in your body. Drug users on some of the more dangerous substances will develop health problems, and in the worst case scenario, fall victim to an overdose.
It takes thousands of Pesos to treat someone for an overdose, and that’s if they didn’t try something exotic to introduce the drug into their system. Then there’s the toll it takes on the people who want to help. They will spend tens of thousands more to enroll an addict in rehab, in the hopes it’ll stick and their friend/family member will recover.
Many will dismiss someone addicted as hopeless and completely useless to society, when the fact is that these are people who’ve had extremely bad days. In the absence of having people who’d be able to help them through it, they’ve filled the void with substances that remove them from everything they feel.
If you know someone, or are someone recovering from substance abuse, know that the first focus is to get better. It’s difficult, and sometimes, people will fall off the wagon, but the most important thing is to heal.
Kyle Kam is a Digital Marketing Specialist of MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.