Addiction is one of the recurring themes that I see causing people to require my services. It may be chemical dependency/addiction for prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcoholism, gambling, or other addictions. The typical case I see, is someone who has sobered up, and is getting their life back together, and has a trail of debt and obligations they can’t always piece together. Sometimes they are fortunate to have the assistance of a family member to help with paperwork and finances, but not always. A credit report is often a great place to start.
Step 9 of the 12 step program is clearing the wreckage of your past. It is sometimes referred to as “making amends.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean digging oneself out of an insurmountable amount of debt that is far beyond a person’s ability to pay. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the cleanest way of getting a fresh financial start so that the stress of these prior obligations does not continue to weigh down their ability to move forward.
I don’t mean to minimize the importance of the recovery process. A discharge of debts should be a part, and a small part, of that process. It’s important to understand that while it may seem simple to wipe out debts, addressing the underlying need for freedom from addiction is what should be focused one when treating addiction.