Drinking heavily is associated with a host of health consequences that will likely need medical attention, such as cardiovascular illnesses, pneumonia, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and different forms of cancer.
In addition to the cost of health plans and the premiums paid to participate in them, the individual in need of treatment for alcohol-related conditions will likely have copays, transportation costs, and lost wages while being out of work. A loss of work income lowers social security contributions and contributions to employer-provided or independent retirement accounts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking results in $171 billion a year in healthcare-related costs and lowered employee productivity. Alcohol abuse can lead to an increase in debt, especially credit card debt, in numerous ways, such as:
- An inability to pay down credit card bills as income from work lessens
- Increased credit card charges to cover the gap between expenses and reduced income
- Charges for alcohol or alcohol-related activities such as partying or gambling
- Forgetfulness about when to make payments, resulting in late fees and other penalties
Most often, working-class Americans rely on a certain amount of base income. When a person begins to abuse alcohol, the gap between anticipated earnings and expenses and actual earnings and expenses can widen. As a result, the individual’s personal stability (if single) or family can be radically shaken. Although the cost of rehab treatment may seem like an additional burden, it is one of the most effective steps that can be taken to restore the individual’s sobriety and personal or family finances. Concerns about paying for rehab services should never be a barrier to treatment.