What price would you put on sobriety?

Before you answer, let’s think about what it costs to continue abusing alcohol or drugs. Even a moderate alcoholic or drug user can spend thousands of dollars a year feeding their addiction. The spending often increases as the addict becomes more susceptible to moderate doses, requiring more to feel the rush, or satisfaction of the substance. If you’re honest with yourself and do the math, you’ll see how all those trips to the liquor store or your dealer quickly add up.

And that’s just the beginning.

Now consider the cost of lost wages every time you call in sick because of your drug or alcohol abuse. Time away from work can also cost you in other ways, such as its impact on future pay increases or promotions. It could even end up costing you your job, in which case the cost is exponential.

Then imagine if you run into legal trouble due to your addiction. The fine you’ll pay for a DUI is only part of the overall costs, once you add in legal fees and increased insurance costs. Not only could it be an inconvenience to lose your car for a period of time, it could also seriously impact your job if you rely on having a vehicle or a valid license.

Finally – and most importantly – there’s the personal cost. An addiction has the very real possibility of costing you those you cherish most: your friends and family. Most addicts don’t see the strain they’re placing on others. Some even get angry at the thought of someone ending a relationship over their addiction. Yet, without hope for recovery, many addicts will find themselves cut off from those they hold dear once the effort to support them becomes too great.

If it was any other illness, such as cancer, you’d do everything you could to fight it and get well. You need to take the same attitude when it comes to addiction treatment. Together, we need to change the conversation so that we’re looking at the real cost: the cost of the addiction.

What has addiction cost you or someone you love?