Getting Finances Back on Track After Rehab


Table of Contents

Why This Disease Requires Support

As a disease, addiction alters brain chemistry to prioritize locating and using drugs above all else. Drugs spike dopamine levels in the brain, which controls feelings of happiness and euphoria.

Over time, the body develops a tolerance to the substance. As a result, people use more of the substance to feel the thrill again. Eventually, addiction can overpower emotional cognizance, disabling a person’s ability to feel happiness.

Furthermore, chronic substance use behaves like crutches in the brain. Addicts often continue their substance use to avoid suffering from withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and anxiety.

Ultimately, this disease requires medical attention to break the cycle of dependence.

How Addiction Eats Finances

When addiction takes control of someone, their decision-making skills can become skewed. Financial responsibilities can begin to come second to paying for substances.

This irrational thinking often leads to depleted savings, unpayable loans, and asset seizure. In addition, the progression of relentless spending on substances is a strong indication of an addiction problem.

Addiction is a disease that drives a person to continue abusing substances, regardless of the consequences. Therefore, an addict who has just lost their house is still likely to continue using.

Some people might dismiss this behavior as a refusal to quit. However, they fail to recognize that an inability to stop can continue these behaviors.

An American national survey conducted in 2019 showed staggering statistics of addicts who experienced a financial crisis. Americans aged 18 years or older were asked how their addiction impacted their financial health, resulting in 82% of subjects reporting some economic devastation.

  1. 48% reported drained savings and retirement accounts.
  2. 43% reported medical and legal expenses directly resulting from substance use or addiction.
  3. 42% reported having sold their assets, specifically to buy more drugs.
  4. 11% reported filing for bankruptcy.
  5. 23% reported taking out various loans to pay for their drug vices.

It is important to remember that studies and statistics can only account for the reported information and cannot claim accountability for those who do not participate.

Becoming Indebted to Others

Unsurprisingly, efforts to obtain money can revert to borrowing from family and friends. However, addiction teaches the brain how to manipulate anyone to get what they want. Therefore, since people struggling with addiction are not likely to express the real reason for needing money, lying becomes common.

Additionally, the depletion of all financial resources leaves no room to pay bills, including phones, electricity, or rent.

Negative Impact on Credit Scores

Companies that provide essential need services can usually demonstrate flexibility in bill payment; however, that courtesy can only extend so far.

Debt collectors leave negative marks on a person’s credit report, which can linger for up to 7 years. These negative marks impact an addict’s current financial situation and can follow them for almost a decade.

Negative marks on credit reports make it extremely difficult to request credit lines, avoid high deposits, or get approval for legal residencies.

Addiction can take everything away from an addict, and the persistence to continue using is a loud cry for help.

How Can Someone Get Their Finances Back After Rehab?

Amid all the stress and turmoil of financial loss, tools and resources are available to addicts inside rehabilitation and throughout addiction treatment.

During treatment, the programs rejuvenate all aspects of a person’s life affected by drug use, such as:

  1. medical
  2. psychological
  3. social
  4. vocational
  5. legal matters that may have impacted a person’s livelihood.

Utilizing Financial Resources

Some people may feel that their situation is so dire that no one can help them, leading them to avoid getting treatment. However, rehab-administered programs can provide efficient referrals, documentation, and waivers to help re-open pathways toward independence and self-sufficiency.

Rebuilding a life after addiction requires a solid steppingstone to progress. Unfortunately, some people can lose skillsets to addiction, resulting from the drug’s effect on brain functionality.

Thankfully, patients can learn new skill sets while participating in rehab programs.

Building a New Skill Set

Many people lose their job and ability to perform job duties and have no source of income left. However, rehabilitation facilities can offer financial assistance with skill-building classes, such as job skill training and career coaching.

Some rehab centers even offer job placement programs that specialize in finding employment for recovered drug addicts with program completion documentation. It’s also possible to go back to school while you’re in recovery to start a career. 

These financial resources are practical tools to help release some of the financial burdens of recovering addicts. Addiction can take away everything from someone; rehabilitation and treatment programs can bring back some of it.

How to Practice Financial Safety

Life after addiction is hard enough. Creating “safety nets” and boundaries to protect oneself outside rehab is crucial to avoiding relapse. Therefore, it is vital to identify and eliminate potential triggers and avenues to use drugs again.

Depending on the severity of someone’s addiction, financial safety nets can ask a trusted family member or friend to safeguard their finances to prevent dangerous or unnecessary spending. Not only would this protect them from buying drugs, but it can also help to re-train their brain’s risk-reward calculator.

Chronic substance use can damage the brain’s risk-reward calculator, which determines whether something is worth the risk to obtain or do. When that calculator is damaged, people can become unpredictable when making decisions.

Therefore, recoverees must make strategic financial decisions to protect themselves.

Next Step Prepaid Card

Some people may be too uncomfortable leaving all of their finances in someone else’s hands. In that case, there is an option that may be better suited.

Next Step prepaid card is a specialized financial tool that only works under specific instructions. The administrator would be an appointed family member or trusted individual that would determine where and when recoverees could use this card.

This option would allow recovering addicts not to lose all sense of independence while protecting them from misusing their finances for drugs.

The Next Step prepaid card is completely customizable. However, this card does not permit cash back benefits to work as a protective safety net.

The use configurations consist of where recoverees can use the card, when purchases are allowed, and tracks its frequency. These configurations exist to provide boundaries and promote healthy finances.

In addition, this specialized financial tool can also reinforce risk-reward calculating skills to lead to healthier spending habits in the future eventually.

Maintaining a Healthy Wallet

Rebuilding a life after addiction is hard, and those recovering need support to maintain success. However, financial independence is possible for anyone with practice and patience.

A person can maintain good financial standing by:

  1. adhering to spending limits
  2. keeping strict transactional documentation
  3. maintain awareness of financial income to output ratio
  4. staying sober
  5. create and strive toward financial goals

Additionally, continued support beyond rehab is highly encouraged. Group meetings and mainstream financial advisors or mentors are a great way to stay optimistic about a person’s economic standing.

Governmental programs offering food and cash assistance provide temporary support for those struggling to meet their basic needs. In addition, there are agents available to help people fill out an application for benefits.

Are You Struggling with Finances After Rehab?

If you or someone you know struggles with financial health after rehab, please consider contacting an agent for more information.

Save yourself time and money by getting help to reach your financial independence goals.


[1] 2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases | CBHSQ Data (

[2] How to Stay Sober After Rehab: Managing Your Finances (
[3] The Ultimate [Guide] to Get Into Rehab With No Money – A Better Today Recovery Services (

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