One of the grave misconceptions about addiction is that it favors any socioeconomic class or group. The truth is, people from all walks of life can be susceptible to substance use disorder, commonly referred to as addiction. One particular demographic at risk from addiction are high-performance professionals or individuals of high net worth.
Highly Successful Individuals Also Struggle with Addiction
The common narrative around addiction is that those suffering from addiction are down on their luck and are in a bad place in life. We think of individuals who are experiencing some of the worst periods of their life where everything has fallen apart. This is the experience for many and addiction treatment is crucial for them.
However, as recent headlines demonstrate, individuals with high net worth, professional success and intellect are not immune to mental health struggles or substance use disorders. Substance use disorders can be caused by pre-existing mental health disorders and for those who have the means to acquire controlled substances, this can be made worse. At the same time, mental health disorders can be caused by substance use which creates a vicious cycle. It is important to acknowledge this reality so that addiction as a whole can be further destigmatized as a chronic disease to be treated with fairness, compassion, and empathy.
It is important to note that while Substance use disorders are often caused by mental health disorders. Just as easily, mental health disorders can be caused by substance abuse. The two can often also co-mingle, compounding and making diagnosis and treatment all the more important. For the individual, the struggle only becomes more complex when substance abuse and mental health disorders co-mix, which is why seeking help from the right place is so important.
Caron Ocean Drive specializes in helping high-achieving individuals begin recovery discreetly.
The drive to succeed and live up to others’ perceptions and expectations can lead to dysfunctional relationships and reliance on unhealthy coping mechanisms including use of alcohol, drugs, medications, food, gambling, sex, shopping, and digital devices. Trust and control issues related to money, spending, and family complicates mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and requires an interdisciplinary, culturally competent treatment team who understands their unique needs.
While success is not always the product of imbalance, it is also the case that the personality characteristics that drive people to succeed can also become pathological in nature. For example, no matter how successful they are, many high achieving individuals who seem to bend the world to their will still feel as if their accomplishments are never good enough or that their success is fraught or unearned. Self-reflection is important for improvement, but when it becomes unceasing self-criticism the behavior becomes pathological.
Internally, these individuals live in fear — feeling inadequate, unrecognized, and unlovable – which can fuel a substance use or other behavioral health disorder through the compulsion to achieve and simultaneously cope with extensive emotional pain. Caron Ocean Drive addresses these underlying feelings to help clients begin and maintain recovery.
Psychological Factors of Addiction
Addiction, at its root, is a medicating behavior. This is the primary reason that many cases of addiction end up in a dual-diagnosis. Substance use disorders often have high comorbidity rates with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders. These mental health conditions present a chicken or the egg scenario and continue to feed off of each other. A person struggling with addiction may feel excessive anxiety or depressive feelings which they try to stifle with alcohol or drugs. The substances themselves can also induce these feelings.
Similarly, personality disorders (Cluster A, B, and C personality disorders) do not cause addiction but can fuel the addictive process because people often turn to alcohol and drugs to alleviate negative symptoms associated with these disorders. Self-medication can progress to addiction and the behavior results in damaging consequences – inability to maintain a healthy relationship, lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, violence, or self-harm. Individuals with a personality disorder or traits of a personality disorder require specialized substance use disorder treatment that does not blame or shame but focuses on addressing the behaviors and underlying issues that may include trauma, imposter Syndrome, and family dynamics.
Caron Ocean Drive’s Treatment Approach
An important piece of the puzzle for helping high-achieving individuals with their substance use disorder is understanding the family dynamics they are a part of. Many successful and affluent individuals come from families of similar or greater success. Commonly, these families have particular family dynamics that may lend themselves to younger members having feelings of inadequacy or a failure to live up to legacy despite their own success.
Located in Palm Beach County, FL, Caron Ocean Drive provides discrete, sophisticated executive-level care in a luxury setting for individuals of affluence and influence, including C-suite professionals, tech moguls, entrepreneurs, business leaders, as well as addresses the complicated dynamics for individuals with inherited wealth and family-run businesses.
Our masters and doctorate-level therapists specialize in helping families, including families of choice, to restructure relationships within the family system to shift the dynamics and create and implement healthy boundaries and improve overall relationships. Each Ocean Drive patient is assigned a primary therapist and a family therapist.
We strive to help restore our patients’ quality of life through improving health, wellness, and relationships so that they can return to work.
Our systemic approach addresses the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs of each patient through a highly personalized treatment plan. Caron’s comprehensive clinical approach to deep-seated issues—such as trauma, unresolved grief and loss, attachment issues, and communication difficulties—can help patients make lasting changes in their lives.
Luxury Facilities for Recovering Professionals
Caron Ocean Drive residents live in two manor-style homes that feature private bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms, pools, media rooms, and exercise equipment. Housekeepers, on-site executive chefs, and counselor assistants provide support at the residences, while clinical programming occurs in nearby Boca Raton. This allows clients to receive treatment that takes into account their specialized circumstances including the ability to continue to stay engaged in work and home. Individuals with chronic pain and addiction also receive treatment designed to help reduce their pain and treat substance use disorder.
In light of the recent pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals who have developed a substance use disorder. Caron’s experts warn that habits acquired during the pandemic will not simply end on their own, specialized support is required.