Picture the most polished and successful person you know. What are the factors that make their lifestyle so attractive? Are they rich, well-liked, respected, and competent?
Even the most successful individuals are humans capable of becoming addicted to substances. Every billionaire, CEO, or superstar is subject to the whims of chemicals. Your idol may be a single bad day away from typing “detox center near me” into their search bar.
Psychologists suggest a link between addictive personalities and success in the professional world. Wealth comes with resources, which make alcohol and drug abuse easier to hide.
If you’re a professional struggling with getting sober, it’s time to ask yourself what you have to lose—and what you’ll gain when you choose recovery.
Read on to learn about the link between professionals, addiction, and shame, and discover how easy it can be to get help.
What Does an Addict Look Like?
Like it or not, the world has preconceived notions about what an addict “looks like.” We imagine a disheveled, sad figure, possibly even an unemployed, homeless person on the street. Often, a term that comes to mind is “out of control.”
In truth, addiction doesn’t care about your appearance, socioeconomic status, or career. Individuals who are in positions of extreme control, such as CEOs, medical doctors, or law professionals, are equally susceptible. Stress, trauma, poor home life, upbringing, and even genetics can all lead to substance addiction.
Studies suggest that up to 10% of high-earning professionals struggle with drug or alcohol abuse. Why are these individuals challenging to spot if addiction is so prevalent in professional settings?
High-earning individuals typically have access to more resources, which make it easier to hide and support a drug addiction. These individuals can afford to maintain their habits without outwardly struggling.
When an individual holds power over others, confronting them can be intimidating. Why would you confront your boss when it might result in job loss? In many cases, others might even help high-achieving employees hide or cover up their drug use or drinking.
If “going out for drinks” is part of company culture, hiding an addiction might even hinder professional success.
Remember that most addicts do not drink or abuse substances for just the high alone. An individual that is dependent on drugs uses substances to achieve a baseline level of normalcy and control. When a professional has access to substances that make it easier for them to function in the workplace, at times, it can be impossible to notice that they are struggling.
What Addicts and CEOs Have in Common
Many traits observed in high-earning professionals are also present in addicts at all socioeconomic levels. The qualities that make you a top employee might also contribute to your drug or alcohol problem.
Addiction and Perfectionism
Foremost, many successful business professionals possess a drive toward perfectionism. They are capable of great focus and have an innate understanding of successfully making, meeting, and achieving goals. Since they have experienced success, they hold high personal standards and do not tolerate failures.
While things may be going well for these perfectionists at work, the same may not be accurate at home. These individuals end up using drugs or alcohol to regain lost control in other areas of their life. Substances may help them cope with family, grief, relationships, intimacy, or other issues.
Addiction and Masking
Many professionals share the tendency to curate and present a “work persona” to mask insecurity.
From fast food to Fortune 500 companies, employees at all levels have “customer service voices.” Those false personas may prevent individuals from connecting. These masks prevent them from achieving intimacy, vulnerability, and connection in relationships.
Addiction and Childhood Trauma
Addicts in the professional world may struggle with the conditional nature of their success. They feel they must earn their status or risk losing their most satisfying relationships.
Have you tied your identity to your career? If so, your identity may feel like a thing you can lose. You might feel like you need to work extra hard to maintain equilibrium in your life.
For many individuals, this is the result of adverse childhood experiences. Children who grow up with a feeling of conditional love might struggle more under such conditions. They frequently turn to substances to cope with their underlying emotions.
Addiction and Risky Behavior
What’s riskier than starting a business? Investing satisfies the same dopamine-seeking area of the brain as thrill-seeking behavior. Individuals who crave this type of sensation are more likely to pursue professional ventures.
This tendency is often genetic. While risk is necessary for business success, the compulsive need for stimulation makes it easier to become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The Shame Spiral
When you experience success in any sphere, a perceived failure or lack of control can lead to feelings of shame or guilt. If you rely on substances, you will eventually face the consequences. The fallout may be health-related or involve social relationships.
Substance abuse can also trigger mental health challenges, making it impossible to function normally.
A professional’s first response to the problem is often a sense of shame. They feel ashamed about their substance use issue and may use more substances to cope with the feeling. Instead of perpetuating a vicious cycle, these individuals should use their shame as impetus to pursue drug detox.
Getting sober is the only way to break the cycle of shame and guilt and pursue freedom from addiction. It isn’t too late to begin your recovery journey.
Atlanta Detox: The Ideal Detox Center
Everyone is susceptible to the ravages of addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling, allow your shame to guide you toward recovery and relief. You work too hard to allow substances to rule your life, and it isn’t too late to make a change.
Your journey began when you searched for “detox center near me.” It’s time to take the next step and reach out to a compassionate professional at Atlanta Detox Center. Contact us today to learn more about our detox, rehabilitation, and therapeutic programs for treating addiction in professionals.