The latest study into the real costs of alcoholism was reported recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. This research was conducted in the US, reaching the conclusion that billions of dollars are wasted each year due to this condition. Alcoholism not only damages an individual’s physical and mental health, but it can also be responsible for driving them to financial ruin. The cost of addiction is unacceptably high not just for the individual but also for their family, community, and society as a whole.
Cost of Alcoholism
The study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine involved 50 people who were admitted into rehab. These individuals were questioned about their situation, and it was found that one quarter of them had experienced a significant loss of income during the last year because of alcoholism. Those individuals admitted that this loss of income not only negatively impacted their own life but also the lives of the people who depended on them.
How much is Alcoholism Costing You?
It is likely that when you first began drinking alcohol it felt like an asset in your life. You may have enjoyed the fact that it made you feel more comfortable in social situations or that it helped you relax after a busy day. The drinking culture here in the UK can be very appealing, and when you first begin abusing alcohol there are often not too many negative consequences. At the start of your drinking it is likely that the pros exceeded the cons, but this situation could not last forever.
The cost of drinking alcohol tends to be low in the beginning. You may have a few hangovers and maybe say or do things while inebriated that you later regret. The fact that you enjoyed what drink did for you will have encouraged you to keep on drinking on a regular basis. As you develop tolerance for alcohol, you will need to drink more in order to get the same effects. As you drink more, the negative consequences continue to rise.
By the time you have become addicted to alcohol, the negatives will far outweigh the positives of using this substance. You might not see things this way though because denial is a common symptom with all addictions. It will usually be obvious to people around you that something is not right, but if others question your drinking, you will probably become defensive. You may firmly believe that there are other reasons why your life is falling apart – you cling to the notion that alcohol is your friend.
The cost of alcoholism can include:
- your mental health
- your physical health
- your ability to earn a living
- your ability to take care of your family
- your career
- your education
- your respect in the community
- your self-respect
- your relationships
- your ability to be a good parent
- your opportunities in life
- your inner peace
- your life.
Is the Cost of Alcoholism Worth It?
The longer you remain addicted to alcohol, the more you are going to end up losing. If you continue long enough you will pay the ultimate price with your life. The reality is that you can probably already see that alcoholism is costing you too much – why else would you be reading this? If you are waiting for the pros of drinking to once again outweigh the cons, you are playing a dangerous game. The experience of millions of people who have been addicted point to the reality that the good times can never return. Once you have crossed the line into addiction, the only feasible option is to choose abstinence.
You have already lost too much because of alcoholism. The good news is that by becoming sober you will have the opportunity to begin reclaiming all that was taken away. It can take a long time, but you will start to see things improve as soon as you are able to stop drinking. If you are able to learn from this experience, you can even find yourself in a much better position than you ever were before. The fact that you have been able to break away from addiction gives you an inner strength that will make it easier for you to achieve your goals. The cost of alcoholism is going to increase the longer you remain addicted – by breaking free you will be able to turn things around.