Individuals who have abused drugs and alcohol often face low income due to their limited training, skills, and opportunities. They may be tempted to return to selling or another role in the drug economy. They may return to using drugs and alcohol to manage negative feelings resulting from their low income and limited opportunity to move ahead. Leaving the cycle of abuse will not immediately result in having an increased income. It will result in increased opportunity to take better advantage of skills and to plan and work toward a career. Improving one’s level of income takes time. This can be particularly discouraging for people who have little tolerance for longer term goal planning (Beck, Wright, Newman, & Liese, 1993).
On the other hand, high-income people who have completed withdrawal and treatment can once again become involved in a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse to increase energy, confidence, manage pressure or to be part of a lifestyle that includes use (Beck, Wright, Newman, & Liese, 1993). Facing financial challenges can be a test of your coping and planning skills. Make sure you keep exercising and using relaxation and stress management skills, to get you through the discouraging days. Seek career and financial advice rather than struggling alone.