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  • Life insurance after drug addiction
  • June 3, 2015
  • Life insurance after drug addicitonBy Karla Sullivan

    Where is the line between recreational drugs  and addiction? Very few addicts are able to recognize when they have crossed the line, but once they do and get help, a new life of promise awaits, including life insurance. While the amount of drugs consumed don’t necessarily constitute an addiction, addiction is characterized by the following definitions:

    · Taking a recreational drug which causes a surge in levels of dopamine in your brain, which trigger feelings of pleasure. Your brain remembers these feelings and wants them repeated.

    · If you become addicted, the substance takes on the same significance as other survival behaviors, such as eating and drinking.

    · Changes in your brain interfere with your ability to think clearly, exercise good judgment, control your behavior, and feel normal without drugs.

    · Whether you’re addicted to inhalants, heroin, Xanax, speed, or Vicodin, the uncontrollable craving to use grows more important than anything else, including family, friends, career, and even your own health and happiness.

    · The urge to use is so strong that your mind finds many ways to deny or rationalize the addiction. You may drastically underestimate the quantity of drugs you’re taking, how much it impacts your life, and the level of control you have over your drug use.

    Common myths include:

    1) that addicts can control with willpower

    2) that addicts have to hit rock bottom before recovery works

    3) addicts will not get better if they are forced by legal measures to get treatment. Treatment can be recommended and pressured through parents, family and legal ramifications. The success rate is high when interventions and legal issues do occur.

    According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use, more than 21 million Americans may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Fewer than 2.5 million receive treatment. Through a drug recovery program, you can make a positive intense effort to counteract the disruptive effects of drug use.

    Recovery programs vary from outpatient or inpatient with group participation and individual counseling. Medical intervention may be required during the early days if physical withdrawal symptoms are severe.

    Anyone currently abusing a substance will be declined for life insurance. However, those who have discontinued this behavior for a minimum of two years may be considered. To get an idea of how a client with Drug Abuse would be viewed in the underwriting process, the following would be asked:

    · Date of diagnosis or treatment

    · Drugs used or abused

    · Relapses from sobriety

    · Legal problems such as DUI or other

    · Frequency of attacks

    · Additional psychiatric problems or physical complications

    · Current medication

    · Level of alcohol consumption

    · Participation in Narcotics Anonymous

    · Smoking cigarettes

    If it has been less than 2 years, a person seeking insurance will be postponed. Two to five-years, they’re likely going to be rated. After 5 years they might be considered at a standard rate class with no flat extra. After 10- years without medical complications, life insurance premiums may be better than ever.

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