Tips for former addicts, families trying to get their finances back – press enterprise
Drug addiction presents its ugliness in many forms, such as drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive gambling, and overeating or undereating, to name a few.
Although there are a variety of addictions, many symptoms of behavioral disorders overlap. Families and the addict are ultimately affected financially and emotionally. Sometimes relationships are so badly damaged that they cease to exist.
Often, family members support the person’s addiction without realizing it. Once you are aware of the problem, it is important to consider and establish firm boundaries, no matter how difficult. Are you ready to see your loved one spend time in jail instead of covering their legal fees? Are you ready to see them evicted or live on the streets instead of paying their living expenses? How many months are you willing to pay their rent if they don’t tackle their addiction?
Setting limits won’t cure your loved one of their addiction or ensure they seek help, but it will help you manage your life without financial ruin. At the end of the day, all you can control is how well you take care of your health and well-being.
Without support and resources, it will be difficult to navigate through the emotional strain and financial pressures of addiction. The Administration Agency for Addiction and Mental Health Services within the US Department of Health and Human Services provides resources that address the subject of addiction for both the addict and his or her family. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of addiction and mental illness on American communities. You can reach them at 1-800-662 HELP (4357) or at samhsa.gov.
One of the consequences of economic ruin is having bad credit. With this burden, recovering people will find it difficult to be approved when applying for credit cards or loans. Even if they are sober; banks and other financial institutions will be reluctant to extend a line of credit to someone who has, in the past, shown lack of judgment and decision-making skills. This can mean that even the basics of getting a loan back on your feet, or applying for housing for housing, will become much more difficult than usual.
It is unrealistic to expect a newly sober person to simply return to their financial existence before their addiction sets in. Consider seeking help from a financial advisor who knows how and where to apply for financial assistance, get loans, find scholarships or grants, and have special payment plans that can help cover the cost of treatment and care. other damage incurred due to addiction.
Although financial recovery is not easy, there are tools to help you in this phase.
Next Step Prepaid Mastercard – Developed by three recovering drug addicts, this prepaid card is specifically aimed at recovering people. It comes with controls that block certain transactions at ATMs or points of sale, such as those at liquor stores, casinos, bars, escort services, and selected online retailers. The card cannot be used for cashback.
The card must be co-signed by a person responsible for the life of the individual. The co-signer is responsible for loading and effective transfer of funds; a companion card is given to the person who uses it for their purchases. There are daily spending limits and maximum monthly transactions placed on the Next Step card, and card usage can be monitored online for accountability purposes.
True Link Prepaid Visa Card – The True Link Prepaid Visa card is a reloadable prepaid Visa card created to meet the complex needs of underserved people. This card allows a person to buy items and pay bills without having to carry cash. Access can be blocked for purchases in bars, online and other risky places. The card can also be configured to be accepted at certain merchants. It provides access to real-time alerts if the card is attempted to be used in a blocked location, such as a liquor store.
Even though it is difficult to watch a loved one lose control of their life, family members should not be rescuing or financially supporting the addict. Let the addict feel the consequences of his illness. Think carefully about helping an addict, set limits, and clearly understand the long-term ramifications for your finances. By supporting the addict financially, you are supporting their addiction, while possibly putting your own finances at risk.
Teri Parker CFP® is Vice President of CAPTRUST Financial Advisors. She has been practicing in financial planning and investment management since 2000. Contact her by email at [email protected]