Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Why Debt Is Like Drug Addiction

Jun. 11, 2012 The Dollar Stretcher

It would seem that almost all of us have either been caught ourselves, or have a friend or relative, who has been addicted to drugs. If we’re fortunate they managed to get free of them. We know that no one begins with the idea of becoming a drug abuser. But somewhere along the way it happened. And, the pain it caused to the abuser and those around them was often significant.

In watching people and their finances I see a similar pattern appearing with debt. No one sets out to become addicted to debt. No one wants to let debt control their lives. And, yet, a certain percentage of us will have that happen.

Now let me be clear that everyone with debt problems will not follow this pattern. Some people got into debt trouble due to a medical emergency or sudden financial set-back.

But, for many the pattern is predictable. Much like someone falling into drug addiction. For some guidance we went to the National Institute for Health website. They defined four stages of drug addiction.

“Experimental use — typically involves peers, done for recreational use; the user may enjoy defying parents or other authority figures.

“Regular use — the user misses more and more school or work; worries about losing drug source; uses drugs to “fix” negative feelings; begins to stay away from friends and family; may change friends to those who are regular users; shows increased tolerance and ability to “handle” the drug.

“Daily preoccupation — the user loses any motivation; does not care about school and work; has obvious behavior changes; thinking about drug use is more important than all other interests, including relationships; the user becomes secretive; may begin dealing drugs to help support habit; use of other, harder drugs may increase; legal problems may increase.

Read More on The Dollar Stretcher

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

5 pandemic-driven financial habits worth keeping

A side hustle can help provide financial stability during uncertain times.

Read More

Help! I’m Afraid to Retire, Even Though I Can Afford to

Some tips to get you ready for what you've earned.

Read More

Major Debt Collection Changes Coming in 2021

The pros and cons to the updated rules around collection companies.

Read More

Biden Signs Stimulus Bill

When Will Your Third Stimulus Check Arrive?

Read More

Black people in rural areas continue to experience health disparities

Comparisons come from rates in diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Read More

Creative Strategies from Single Parents on Juggling Work and Family

Flexible work schedules and strong support networks go a long way.

Read More

Key Insights From 2021's World Happiness Report

Three must-know insights from this year’s World Happiness Report.

Read More

1 in 4 Americans have no retirement savings

And those who do aren’t saving enough

Read More