Our society has created an archetype for what an addict looks like: disheveled, often homeless, grayed, staggering and slurring words or maniacal. There is a stigma and a stereotype assigned to what North American society thinks of as an addict, but amazingly, some of the most addictive behavior is found in high society, where people project the image of having everything together. Nothing could be further from the out of control person the term addict draws to mind, yet wealthy, influential people such as CEOs, high power attorneys and physicians are some of the most likely people to struggle with addiction. This disorder is often found among the one-percent who hold the majority of the wealth in North America.
Due to how passionately this level of society tends to protect their image, cases of addiction at the white collar level tend to be swept under the rug. Wealthy families and members of the community would prefer that information about their addicted family members not become public knowledge. For those who are high-profile working professionals, the addiction tends to be hidden even more diligently. A doctor’s license can be revoked if information about their addiction leaks. Similarly, attorneys and CEOs can be reprimanded or required to step down if their addiction becomes public knowledge. Their desire to conceal it often leads to elaborate efforts to keep it hidden, such as lying about how they spend their time and money.
The desire to conceal addiction at this level of society is so great that often the importance of caring for it is overlooked. The fact of the matter is, it does not matter how prominent a person is in society or how much money they have or how valuable they are to their company. Addiction can strike any demographic, and when it does, the addicted person needs to know that addiction treatment is a viable option for them.