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.