When someone develops substance use disorder (SUD), their entire life revolves around feeding their addiction. People will sacrifice relationships, finances, and the ability to go to work and school in order to obtain their drug of choice. The fixation on the addictive substance prevents someone from developing into the person they want to be, and it will take personalized treatment to ensure they recover fully.
There are three ways that addiction can halt life progress for an individual.
#1. Addiction Stunts Emotional Growth
People usually start using drugs and alcohol because they are trying to deal with traumatic situations or distressing emotions. Since drugs and alcohol are often used as coping mechanisms, people who develop addictions often cannot work through the problems that lead them to substance abuse. Substance abuse can thus stunt their emotional growth and inhibit healing.
Drug and alcohol abuse also inhibit brain development, further preventing emotional growth. The brain is not fully developed until someone is in their mid-to-late twenties. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for making us act responsibly, is one of the last parts of the brain to fully develop. It controls our ability to manage tasks, manage impulses, pay attention, and multitask.
If someone starts using drugs before their prefrontal cortex is fully developed, it will significantly impede their ability to manage a schedule, maintain a job, and make sound decisions. Without these capabilities, one may start falling behind and continue to act the same age as they were when they became addicted.
For people suffering from addiction to move forward, we believe that it is important that those individuals receive targeted therapies and treatments that help them identify their traumas and learn better ways of coping with negative emotions. The decision to stop using drugs and alcohol will help make a positive impact on a person’s emotional growth, and therapies such as somatic therapy and rational emotive therapy can help sustain that growth.
#2. Addiction Stunts Financial Growth
When someone becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol, they will often make decisions that will cause them to end up in financial distress.
Even if someone is addicted to a relatively inexpensive substance like alcohol, buying the drug alone can wrack up a costly monthly tab. For example, in the U.S., the average cost of a six-pack of beer is about $6 after tax. If you buy a six-pack daily, you will be spending approximately $180 monthly, culminating in $2,160 a year. If you replace alcohol with a more expensive substance like cocaine, the yearly cost nearly triples.
Assuming an average street price for a gram of cocaine at $90 with a gram having approximately 25 “bumps” with a user doing five bumps a day, that gram will usually last them about five days. Someone using cocaine at that rate would need to buy a gram at least six times a month, creating a monthly bill of $540. Over a year, this will lead to someone spending $6,480 a year on cocaine alone.
As a person’s use of a substance rises, they develop a tolerance to that substance. This means that people suffering from SUD will need to buy more and more of their substance of choice in order to get the same effects. As a result, spending on drugs or alcohol will only continue to increase. This is especially true for those suffering from a polysubstance use disorder.
Additionally, people experiencing SUD often have poor impulse control, leading them to mismanage their money and make impulsive purchases that land them in debt. Money that could be used for housing, gas, or investment in hobbies or life goals instead goes towards feeding an addiction that is halting their ability to move forward in life.
Here at Vanity Wellness, we understand that financial stability is crucial to recovery. We are focused on the person as a whole and on building someone’s ability to love and care for themselves. As you engage in self-care and build your confidence, your ability to manage your finances will significantly increase.
#3. Addiction Stunts Goals and Dreams
Before developing SUD, people suffering from addiction will have a vision of who they want to be. To reach your dream destination, you may have to go to school, work your way up through your job, or have time and funds to invest in your passion.
Addiction severely limits your ability to do any of those things, especially if you end up with a criminal record due to your addiction. If you are convicted of drug-related use or possession, it can cost you your job. It can also limit your future employment options and disqualify you from receiving federal college aid.
You deserve the ability to move on to the next chapter of your life to chase your dreams and be filled with happiness and hope. At Vanity Wellness, we will be here to hold your hand through recovery to ensure you have the tools and resources you need to navigate your new life and point you in the right direction to get back on track.
Here at Vanity Wellness, we understand that addiction is complex and that a one-size-fits-all approach will not help those suffering from addiction move on to the next chapter of their life. We also believe everyone makes mistakes, but we know from years of experience treating substance abuse disorders that everything in life is recoverable. No one is past help. With the assistance of expertly trained staff and a wide variety of targeted therapies, medications, and other treatment tools, we can help you beat your addiction and start to feel good again. We do not want you to be chained down by addiction. We are here to help set you free. If you have questions about treatment options for you or your loved one or the next steps in the recovery process, give us a call today with no obligation at (866) 587-1737.