Credit Card Debt, Depression and Addiction

Credit Card Debt, Depression and AddictionDepression, addiction and debt interact in a cycle. Problems in any one of the three areas can lead to issues in the other two. Interrupting the cycle at any point can improve the situation as a whole and lead to overall healing and recovery.

The Downward Spiral of Debt, Depression and Addiction

Credit card debt, depression and addiction can interrelate and cause a downward spiral. Debt of any sort is a significant stressor for people. Ongoing debt can contribute to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, which people sometimes try to escape through drug or alcohol use. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration noted in a 2011 report that adults with mental illness are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those without such conditions. Mental health issues make it more likely that people will use addictive substances and more likely that they will become dependent on them.

Some of the symptoms of depression are hopelessness, loss of interest in normal activities and difficulty concentrating. This can make it more difficult for people who are depressed to monitor their financial health which can contribute to the development of debt. If depression leads to addiction, this added factor will contribute to debt. When people are spending large amounts of their income on drugs or alcohol, less is available to spend on basic needs which can cause people to overuse their credit cards to pay bills or buy groceries. Although some addictions are more financially costly than others, the costs of even less expensive substances add up quickly. A marijuana habit can cost $1,000 a year or more, while cocaine and heroin addictions can easily cost nine to ten times that amount.

Depression can contribute to addiction, but the reverse is also true. Many substances of abuse cause depression due to their effects on neurotransmitters such as dopamine. The body reacts to constant overstimulation of the dopamine system by reducing the level it produces or by making receptors less sensitive. This leads to depression and anhedonia which is the inability to feel pleasure from normal rewards.

Addiction can also lead to debt. The financial costs of addiction aren’t limited to the amount spent directly on drugs or alcohol. Those who are addicted often lose jobs or have to settle for lower-paying ones. They tend to have higher medical and legal bills. These factors can all contribute to financial stress and rising debt. In a 2001 report the National Institute on Drug Abuse noted that 38% of cocaine users seeking outpatient treatment at a California treatment facility had faced severe financial problems or bankruptcy.

Reclaim Your Physical, Emotional and Financial Health

The best choice for reclaiming physical, emotional and financial health is to receive help from a quality integrated addiction and mental health treatment program. We can help you find the options that are right for you. Our knowledgeable and compassionate recovery counselors understand the issues and are available around the clock to take your call. End the cycle of credit card debt, depression and addiction. Call our toll-free helpline today.