How Addiction Can Affect Your Finances After Recovery

It is extremely common for those battling an addiction to neglect certain aspects of their life; some examples of the areas that are overlooked include:

  • relationships
  • hygiene
  • responsibilities.

However, one of the most important, but commonly forgotten about, is the affected individual’s finances.

Many people rack up massive amounts of debt in order to fund their addiction, but once on the road to recovery, they are left with a huge mess that is often extremely difficult to clean up. If this sounds like a situation you find yourself in, it will probably be a case of needing some support to get back on your feet.

Trying to deal with the aftermath of a destructive addiction can be tough at the best of times. And because of this, many individuals in this situation choose to ignore it and hope that somehow it will go away by itself. The reality is quite simple though – it will not. The sooner the person with the issue faces up to the problem, the sooner he or she can start receiving help and move forward. To that end, it would probably be a smart move to contact a non-profit debt management company for support and advice on the financial situation.

Take Back Control of the Situation

While waiting for a reply from the debt management company, try and be proactive in resolving the issue. Give your lenders a call to explain the situation and advise them that you have been battling an illness but are on the road to recovery. You could ask them if there is any way they would allow you to arrange a repayment plan while you get yourself sorted. You should also make it very clear to them that you will not be getting yourself into this position again.

Begin to Budget

In an effort to start getting back on track, you will need to get your finances in check. Start by shredding your credit cards. Then write a list with details of your income and expenditure. This will make clear what is left at the end of each month after paying your bills/debts for the month, etc.

Then think about how you can cut any unnecessary costs in an effort to clear your debts as soon as you possibly can.

Keep Focused

It can be strenuous for those trying to get back on their feet after an addiction, especially when finances are involved. The situation could be made worse if lenders are constantly bombarding you with phone calls and ‘urgent’ letters. In circumstances like these, many crack under the pressure and turn back to drugs or alcohol for comfort.

Try to stay strong. After all the effort you put into becoming drug-free, it would be such a shame to relapse now because of the perceived pressure. Try to think back to all of the techniques you were taught in recovery and put these into practice. Get in touch with your counsellor/sponsor if you are in a difficult position. This situation is no reason to put yourself back into the downward spiral of drug or alcohol abuse again.

Help and Support

If you feel as though you cannot cope and are contemplating a return to drugs or alcohol because of your financial situation, seek help immediately. If you do not feel supported, there is a much higher chance of you relapsing, so speak to someone about this now. Whether it is a sponsor, counsellor, friend or family member, or even a phone call to a drug helpline. You should not let your finances put you in a position where you feel the need to turn back to the sole reason you are in this mess in the first place.

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