Financial & Legal Consequences of Drug Abuse

When someone begins struggling with addiction, the desire for a certain substance will overpower judgment, self-control, and feelings of responsibility. This can lead to severe consequences, including job loss, trouble with the law and financial distress.


The government regulates addictive substances in an effort to reduce access to harmful drugs and preserve the health of its people. More than 46 percent –almost half—of federal arrests in the United States are on drug-related charges. An arrest like this most often leads to significant jail time, probation and a series of legal consequences that follow you permanently throughout life.

Once Arrested, Drug Addiction Can Haunt You. You’ll Face Legal Consequences Of Drug Abuse Like:

  • Lost Driver’s License
  • Revoked professional licensure (public safety, medical, transit fields)
  • Criminal record detailing arrest, jail time and history of drug abuse

It is not uncommon for individuals to be sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug abuse. If felony charges are laid against you, then you may also lose your ability to vote, be prohibited from living in certain communities and may have difficulty finding employment.

It is not uncommon for legal consequences to create financial difficulty for the addict, as well as their family. A criminal record is easily accessed by potential employers, making future employment opportunities limited. Serving time in jail will often eliminate a source of family income, which may cause further financial distress.


Even before an arrest occurs, drug abuse can have heavy financial consequences on an individual’s life. Substance abuse is expensive. Maintaining even a moderate habit of drug abuse can cost thousands of dollars annually.

Often, funds to maintain a drug abuse habit are taken from savings accounts, child education funds and other living expenses. It often requires further funds to then cover up alcohol and drug abuse habits, which will commonly lead to increased debt.

The financial complications of drug abuse are compounded by the compromised reasoning abilities experienced when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Addictive Behavior Is Often Associated With Financial Distress Due To:

  • Job Loss
  • Divorce
  • Missed Rent or Mortgage Payments
  • Carelessness with Spending Habits
  • Increased Debt
  • Hefty Fines for Legal Consequences

Situations like home foreclosure or vehicle repossession are not rare with addiction.

Left unaddressed, addiction can take over your life. It will influence your economic stability, career prospects, relationships and home. Family members, co-workers, and friends are all affected by one person’s struggle with addiction.

There are people who manage to function for a long time without experiencing any of these legal or financial consequences, but the longer you cope with an addiction the higher your risk of facing distress becomes.

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