Drug addiction can cause financial hardships, legal concerns

Addiction is a serious disease that can have adverse effects on the user and his or her family. You may understand this more than most because you love someone who is struggling with drug addiction, and even though you want to help, you may find yourself feeling at odds about what to do.

In particular, you may not have realized what a financial toll your loved one's addiction would have on you. After all, you're not the one using or trying to obtain the substance. Still, your support of your loved one may have landed you in a difficult financial spot.

Troubling costs of addiction

In many cases, those struggling with addiction will come to their loved ones for money. Because you want to help, you may provide your loved one with cash in hopes that he or she will spend it on food or clothing, but in reality, you likely know that the funds will go toward the habit. In fact, 65% of individuals with a substance abuse disorder ask their loved ones for money, according to a recent study.

Addiction could also lead to individuals using up their savings in order to buy drugs, and in some cases, parties may even have to file for bankruptcy due to the financial hardships that have resulted. If your loved one has a cocaine or heroin addiction, it is likely that he or she will spend more than $10,000 a year on that addiction.

Where to draw the line

You may wonder whether you should help your loved one, and feelings of guilt may plague you when you think about not giving him or her money when asked. In your case, you may need to set up boundaries that allow you to help without funding the addiction, such as purchasing food or other specific items for your loved one rather than directly giving money.

You may also find yourself in a serious predicament if your loved one ends up facing criminal charges for possession or other drug-related offenses. In such a scenario, your mind may no longer be on money but on helping him or her find the legal assistance needed for such a situation. If you do want to help in such a way, you may want to gain information on possible defense options from local Chicago legal resources.

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