Impact of Addiction on Families: Addiction and Financial Problems

Addiction and the financial problems it causes can ruin lives.

When someone in your home is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can add stress to the entire household not only emotionally but financially, as well.

Behavior Associated with Addiction and Financial Problems

Addiction and withdrawal can put your loved one in a frenzied state of mind—a state in which they’ll do anything to get their next fix. This severely damages relationships, whether it’s your significant other, son, or daughter, often causing an inability to trust your loved one. This damage is often compounded by financial loss.

Lying and Manipulation

An addicted person may use lying and manipulation tactics to convince you that they’re in a financial pinch when they’re really after money to obtain more drugs or alcohol. Excuses include but may not be limited to:

  • Vehicle expenses (gas money, necessary repairs, late payments)
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Doctor visits (seeing multiple doctors to try and obtain prescriptions for various medications)


When addiction takes over a person’s mind, it takes control of their lifestyle. It’s not uncommon for an addicted person to steal valuables from the homes of family and friends to pawn for drugs or alcohol. They’ll often go for valuables that aren’t used often or on display so owners don’t notice their absence right away. An addicted person may also steal prescription drugs or even money from friends and family.

Inability to Keep a Job

Employers do not tolerate illegal drug use, alcoholism, or the behavior that often accompanies these habits, including:

  • Regularly missing work
  • Showing up late
  • Bloodshot or glassy eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed motor skills

Illegal drug use typically warrants immediate dismissal. With a tainted record, it’s much more difficult to obtain a job. If your friend or loved one is stuck in unemployment, they’ll be unable to contribute to household finances.

Financial Costs Associated with Addiction

The repercussions of substance abuse can take an even greater toll on personal finances, with expenses ranging from fines to funeral costs.

Fines, Bail, and Attorney Fees

People struggling with addiction often get wrapped up in illegal situations influenced by their addiction. Here are just a few common crimes associated with addiction:

  • Shoplifting
  • Driving under the influence
  • Forging signatures for prescriptions

Some instances require the need for an attorney, which can run thousands of dollars on top of other fees, depending on whether it’s a multiple offense. If your loved one is arrested, they may manipulate you into bailing them out of jail, swearing they’ll get help.

Funeral Costs

As difficult as it is to discuss the death of a loved one, the possibility of addiction stealing your loved one is real, and you may be forced to confront steep costs for their funeral. The cost of a traditional funeral can range anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000, which is often too massive a burden for family already dealing with addiction’s other costs.

Choose an organization that works to benefit you.

Don’t wait until you’re forced to claim bankruptcy to get help. If your loved one is battling addiction, reach out to an organization that has your best interests at heart. The Gate House is a nonprofit organization based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Our licensed and certified counselors are here to make your life—and the life of your loved one—whole again.

Contact us today to speak with our amiable staff and see how we can join together to help you.

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