When most people think of drug abuse, they imagine poor, low income, uneducated individuals that can barely make ends meet. While there are certainly many addicts that fall under this category, the fact of the matter is that some drug abusers are fabulously wealthy; and sit at the head of Fortune 500 and 1000 corporations. Clearly, given the millions of people that depend on their products or services, it is easy to see that the consequences of executives abusing drugs are much higher than some homeless man in a back alley.
Why Corporate Executives Abuse Drugs
It is surprising to many people that an executive would abuse drugs. After all, they have wealth and success, everything a person could want. However, to understand drug abuse among this group, one must understand the substantial strain these individuals are under. While it is true that they make a boatload of money, this often requires them to work 70 or 80 hours a week in a high stress and hyper competitive environment. There is little time for stress release, relaxation or time to spend with the family, which is why it is common for these people to have domestic problems.
Furthermore, executives travel a lot and due to their high status they often come into contact with celebrities and other high net worth individuals. This particular group is known for partying and those gatherings will often feature alcohol and drugs. What many people don’t realize is that it was the rich, rather than the poor, that made cocaine infamous back in the 1970s and 80s, as the drug was far too expensive for ordinary people to afford and only the introduction of crack allowed the lower classes to acquire it in a lower form.
The Consequences Of Drug Abuse In The C Suite
Given the fact that executives are responsible for making decisions which will impact the lives of millions of people, the consequences of them abusing drugs can be dire. Research shows that corporate addiction costs a staggering billion plus dollars per year, largely due to productivity which is lost, along with increased healthcare costs and absenteeism. As with middle class and poor people, addiction among executives can lead to the breakup of families and the destruction of careers.
Studies show that about ten percent of corporate executives’ abuse drugs and it can be difficult to detect, at least initially. As a result, many do not seek assistance until the situation has deteriorated to the point where it is disrupting their daily lives and operations. Perhaps one of the greatest consequences of drug abuse among this class is the stigma associated with it. As noted above, most people associate drug abuse with uneducated poor people, not highly educated rich people. As such, many executives who seek help will do so in absolutely secrecy, using rehab treatment centers where their anonymity is protected, as the consequences of their situation becoming public could be devastating.