£26-billion was spent on alcohol during 2020 in Britain – the highest amount spent on alcoholic beverages since statistics were being recorded. Around 1 in 3 people in the United Kingdom has been affected by some kind of alcohol problem in their lifetime. We believe that the link between alcohol and debt is clear, with addiction having a huge toll on physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.

How does society contribute to alcohol addiction?

Alcohol and pub culture is a big part of life within Britain, particularly for men. Universities promote getting drunk straight from Freshers week while people who don’t take the university route will often be embraced by a work-drinking culture anyway. Society tells us that getting drunk is fun and it can be a cure to your stress. This is a dangerous thought process that leads some people down the path of addiction. 

Many birthday parties, gigs, and sporting events also promote drinking. For example, it’s common practice for men, in particular, to have a number of drinks before attending a football match. We saw the chaos of that when England reached the final of Euro 2020, many parts of the country were left vandalised and many people felt intimidated. There is a fine line between sensible alcohol intake, reckless drinking, and addiction. 

There is a tendency for casual drinking to become heavy drinking quite quickly. That can lead to poor decision-making and a significant loss of money, damaging financial situations and mental health. 

How can alcohol addiction lead to debt?

Our recent article on inflation actually illustrated that many alcohol prices have actually dropped as a result of Rishi Sunak’s tax cut on most beverages. However, the cost of living has dramatically increased and so the amount that you can afford to spend on luxuries has certainly gone down. 

At the end of the day, a drinking session can be rather expensive. Drinking trips with friends often involve a socialising event, a takeaway or restaurant food, and a taxi home. These costs can stack up quickly. 

Anybody who suffers from alcohol addiction will also drink during the week as well and, before you know it, a huge hole has been blown in a person’s finances. 

Alcohol can also lead a person into a route of impulsive spending, leading to further monetary problems. This pathway could include spending on gambling or other goods that aren’t necessary, throwing budgets and careful financial management out of the window. 

Treating a hangover can also cost money, with some suggesting that Britons spend up to £20 to cure their plight. This could be medication to help with the feeling of pain or fast-food because a person who is hungover is probably not wanting to cook for themselves. 

It is not simply the cost of alcohol by itself. You have to consider the costs that take place around the alcohol and any purchases made as a result of being under the influence of alcohol. It all adds up. 

How can debts become worse because of alcohol?

Spending big on a high-interest credit card could lead to a mountain of debt-related problems when spending money on alcohol. 

People in debt who receive calls from creditors will probably become stressed and anxious as a result of these interactions. Bailiffs would make the situation even worse. These situations can cause further drinking and existing debts can be compounded with the cost of excessive drinking in these periods. 

It’s worth remembering that alcohol only numbs the pain in the short-term and addiction causes severe long-term problems both mentally and financially.

However, people who are surrounded by stress and panic will not be able to think beyond their next fix of alcohol. The stresses of existing debts can prolong or create a stronger relationship with alcohol because alcohol is non-judgemental and pretends to represent an easy release from the mounting problems of life. 

Get Help

With both addiction and debt, it’s very important to seek help at the earliest possible opportunity. The earlier you ask, the less damaging the effects of your problem will be.

Chruch on the Street offers non-judgemental advice on poverty and addiction. Call for help with your alcohol addiction on 01282 222203.

At Money Support Group, we can help you with any debt-related problems. If you need help sorting out your financial issues, call us on 0800 088 2303. One of our expert advisors will be on hand to help you with your financial hardship.

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