Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Addiction Among the Wealthy

Why Does Addiction Among the Wealthy Occur?

Addiction does not discriminate. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Addiction among the wealthy occurs for many of the same reasons that other classes become addicted. Issues like genetic predisposition, mental illness, and stress affect people in every tax bracket. Affluent people do have some unique issues that others do not experience. Here are a few things that contribute specifically to addiction among the wealthy.

Access to Money is One Reason for Addiction Among the Wealthy

The most apparent reason rich people get involved with drugs and alcohol is the easy access to money. Drug addiction can be costly. Because money is not a problem for the wealthy, they can buy plenty. They can afford to feed their addiction, causing it to grow continuously. The financial ease at which the affluent can purchase drugs puts them at a high risk for addiction.

Guilt, Another Reason

Believe it or not, some prosperous people struggle with guilt. They feel guilty that they have so much more than others. They feel as if they do not deserve such a lavish lifestyle while others are starving. Guilt is particularly the case if a person is raised wealthy and did not work to earn the wealth that they experience. Guilt is a serious issue and a contributing factor for addiction among those who are financially fortunate.

Sense of Entitlement

In complete opposition of the guilt mentioned above, some wealthy people have a sense of entitlement. If a person spends their entire life with an excess of money, they have likely never had to earn money themselves. Not ever having to work leads to feelings of entitlement. They believe they should not have to work or make a living. They think the world somehow owes them. This characteristic is also prevalent among those raised in poverty. It may sound strange, but individuals who spent their lives relying on welfare, have also never worked and earned a living. The government supports them in the same way that a wealthy person’s fortune supports them. Both socioeconomic classes are vulnerable to addiction because of this sense of entitlement.

Above the Law

Some wealthy people believe that they are above the law. Because they can afford to hire high-powered attorneys, they feel safe partaking in illegal activities such as drug use. It is an unfortunate fact that the law is biased. When pulled over by a police officer, a white man driving a Bentley is less likely to have his vehicle searched than an African-American man driving a Ford escort. Affluent people know they have this advantage when dealing with law enforcement. Knowing that they are less likely to face criminal charges makes them more comfortable with illegal activities.

The important thing to understand is that addiction does not discriminate for any reason, including financial status. Many contributing factors affect every socioeconomic class. However, the wealthy among us do have a few unique reasons for becoming addicted.


  • Diane C

    It is not surprising to me that rich people have problems with addiction just as poor people do. In fact, I would bet that they would even have more of a problem due to the points that are brought up in this article. Plus they also have the peer pressure to keep up the appearance of wealth. That why it’s good that there are facilities where these people can go and get help. Some of these facilities will even help the person anonymously.

  • Amanda

    It is amazing that this article rings true. You can flip on the TV and see the rich and the famous use drugs and alcohol like it is no problem and the cool thing to do. There is so much pressure to be just the celebrities, and then if the celebrities are doing drugs then so are the people trying to liv life just like them. Also I see many celebrities not having to own up or take responsibility for the action the done which includes drug and alcohol related ones. I feel that people should be responsible for their actions and accountable especially being someone role model.

  • Walter

    OK, I can agree with most of this article, but I also would like to note that at the same time everyone is responsible for their own condition. Whatever condition that is. It is true that a child that grows up with everything they could ever want could experience a sense of entitlement, but at the same time the fault to find here is with the parents of said child in teaching them that they need to work for things along the way. I did not grow up rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I also did not grow up extremely poor. It is true that when I was younger I did not understand the concept of work as well as I should, but it is also important that my dad put me in my place and make the point ring home. Sure, parents should provide their children with what they need, but it is also something lacking in the present times to teach the kids that they need to get out and work for the things that they want in life, and there will not always be someone there to get them whatever they need.

    Anyway, there is a lot of truth to this article and I do not want to put that down in any way, but I also think that it is not just the access to money that predisposes people to drugs but also to how they are taught, and those without a good moral family unit, are definitely at a disadvantage.

  • mike davis

    Although the article raises some very good points, I think that it is important to not divide abuse between groups. Addiction is a human problem rich or poor. I think that its also a mistake to think that this is a current issue only. Any good look through social history shows that almost every civilization through out time has used some kind of drug or narcotic recreationaly.

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