#035: The Cost of Addiction
Life is Life!
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Life is Life!
#035: The Cost of Addiction
Mar 06, 2020 Season 2 Episode 9
Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Catherine Seeber

18.7 million people in the United States are addicted to or dependent on alcohol. An estimated 3.6 million Americans are addicted to or dependent on a wide range of drugs. Many are addicted to more than one. 

Millions more are functionally addicted to things we don't consider drugs, like tobacco, caffeine, and food, as well as to activities such as gambling, shopping, sex, and spending time on the Internet.

Addictions are at an all-time high in the U.S., and as a result, our life expectancy has been reduced. 

Financial disaster is also common to all forms of addiction. 


Because more and more money is needed to fund the habit, leaving bills, rent, and mortgages unpaid. Money may be “borrowed” or outright stolen. Credit cards are maxed out, savings accounts are depleted, and getting more of our vice becomes the primary role of our next paycheck. 

Think about it: A cheap six-pack of beer can cost $5 while smoking a pack of cigarettes each day costs about $7. If you buy a 6-pack daily, that's about $150 per month or nearly $1,000 after six months! This is not sustainable for anyone. 

For many addicts, their "rock bottom" comes when they're evicted, unable to pay rent or are fired from their job for stealing money or office supplies from work. Some lose their vehicles, while others resort to committing crimes or even becoming sex workers just to make ends meet.

On this episode, we'll explore:

  • What are some of the ways addiction affects you and your loved ones financially in the short and long-term? 
  • Can you declare bankruptcy for debts you incurred in order to get your "fix"?
  • What about cash? Is there a safer way to give money to someone in recovery? 
  • And most importantly we'll talk about steps you can take to recover your finances:
  1. Get back into the workforce
  2. Create a workable budget
  3. Open a savings account and add a small amount of money to it each week
  4. Begin to rebuild your credit score

About Catherine Seeber
Cathy Seeber is a vice president and financial advisor at CAPTRUST. She has worked in the industry since 1998 and her advice has been featured in a variety of national, local and industry media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Planning, Fox Business and MarketWatch; she is also a guest columnist for Financial Advisor.

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