Is Wealthy living healthy living?

499-2People often ask me if I find that drugs and alcohol are as widely used in wealthy areas such as Hale and Wilmslow in Cheshire where I run my addiction therapy clinics as they are in poorer inner city areas. My response is that addiction knows no boundaries when it comes to age, race, class, creed, religion or sexual identity. It does not care if you live in a ten bedroom mansion or share a one bedroom flat with four other family members. It does not care what colour you are. If you are Catholic, Muslim, Jewish or C of E. Even if your religion states that you should not drink addiction does not care. The definition of addiction is the continued repetition of a behaviour despite adverse consequences. So regardless of what your religion tells you or how many BMW’s you have parked outside your house if you suffer from the disease of addiction the chances are you will use if you have millions of pounds to loose or just your self respect and dignity.

One of the reasons behind wealthy young adults using drugs is that often they have had high expectations put upon them to achieve the same success as their parents. Combine that with the fact that often in their parents effort to acquire such success they are often busy out working leaving the children to be brought up by nannies or being sent off to boarding schools. When a child does not receive sufficient nurture combined with high expectations to achieve they often grow up with feelings of low self worth and self efficacy. For a young adult to feel there is little worth or point to their life is a dangerous place. Using drugs to escape from the high expectations heaped upon them becomes a not uncommon practice.
Dr David Regis of the Schools Health Education Unit says that his own research also suggests that children raised in wealthy suburbs are just as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs as those in more deprived areas. He believes that money is a strong dictating factor. He points out that poorer families do not have access to basics, let alone extra cash for alcohol or drugs. Wealthy kids tend to have more availability to cash thus making the purchase of drugs and alcohol easier than it is for children from a more deprived background.
If you suffer from the disease of addiction then regardless of where you come from you will use substances and suffer the consequences. It might be that if you are from a more affluent background that you will have quicker access to private addiction services. But there is help out there for people from all economic backgrounds. There are statuary services across the country providing free drug intervention services at no cost. There are also thousands of mutual aid groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous that provide free recovery groups to anyone who has the desire to stop using.




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