Crippling Debt and Addiction

Addict banging against a wall - addiction burden

When using drugs, many people don’t realize how much they spend on their habit. Over time, the amount they spend on drugs increases, and for many this results in growing debt. As a result, many addicts dig themselves into a deep hole; they don’t realize how deep it is until they’ve gotten sober. One of our graduates tells his story of the amount of money he was spending on drugs, how it led him to be late on rent, and ultimately how much he spent over time.

“Drugs negatively impacted my life in many ways. One of those was financially. Here’s how.

“It started off small at first. Ten dollars one day, twenty another day, which didn’t hurt me; this was just on weed. Also, I had a budget that I followed, and after bills and savings, I allowed myself about three hundred dollars a month for leisure things, mainly drugs. When I got into other drugs was when it got bad. Mainly opiates because of physical addiction. Fifty dollars a week quickly turned into one hundred, then two hundred, and so forth. Rather than wanting drugs, I found myself needing them. At least, that is what I told myself. ’I can’t go or function at work while withdrawing. I need to spend money on more.’ I quickly blew through all my savings and started spending more of my paycheck than I should have. Spending like this made me short on bills many times. I’d tell my roommate that I would pay him back, and when the next paycheck came around, half of it would already be spent on debits, either to my roommate or to dealers who gave me drugs and expected me to pay them back once I got money. This continued until I moved to my brother’s house in Texas in 2015. I got off everything but weed which I was still spending a lot on and I wasn’t saving.

“I would make $2400–$3000 monthly, and my bills were only around $900. The rest of my money was spent on drugs.”

“This continued, and I moved back to Louisiana in 2019. It was going alright until I was introduced to Kratom. It started small again—five dollars every other day, then five dollars daily. The amount then continued to double. Kratom was too easy to access. Every gas station had it so I wouldn’t have to rely on dealers who sometimes ran out. I was still doing other drugs on top of the Kratom. So that was more I was spending. I would make $2,400–$3,000 monthly, and my bills were only around $900. The rest of my money was spent on drugs. It often made me go negative, and I would then beg my dad or friends for money to pay bills. Towards the end, before going to Narconon, I took care of my grandpa. I had no bills so I should have been saving. At the time, I was making almost $4,000 a month and had nothing to show for it. Every day without fail, I would spend around $80 to $200 on Kratom. I’d then spend $200 a week on weed and another $200 on coke and heroin. I spent $300 on Adderall in the three months before I went to treatment. Over time, I spent nearly $10,000 on drugs, leading to my financial ruin.”

I.M. Narconon Graduate

When someone is addicted to drugs, their priorities become warped. Their cravings for drugs becomes a need, and that becomes more important than eating or having a place to sleep. Addiction is life-changing, in the worst way. One day you could have the life many want and, over time, become a person you no longer recognize and have nothing to show for it.

Addiction needs to be addressed to get your life back on track. When you have massive debts weighing on you, it can cause the person to feel they have no way out. So they keep using it to escape what they know will be waiting for them the next day. You are not alone, and many addicts struggle with finances. There is a way out of the crippling addiction and debt you are struggling with. The first step is reaching out to get help addressing your addiction.


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.