The Challenges of Affluence in Recovery

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Affluence as a barrier to recovery can be a multi-faceted issue. The term affluence refers to having an abundance of property, money or material goods. A person of affluence can still face several obstacles and barriers to seeking both treatment and recovery. Learn more about how this can become a barrier to recovery.


Denial is a strong factor in many people’s lives who seek addiction recovery support. Coming to terms with addiction, including by those who have money and resources, can have legal and financial consequences. The level of denial may run quite deep by trying to avoid certain repercussions such as fines or jail time. It is easier for people of affluence to deny a problem exists than deal with root behaviors.The lifestyle can be maintained longer with more resources and this may not lead to the same desperation in order to support the habit as enough money exists for food, shelter and drugs.


Substance abuse and addiction still brings negative attention and stigma to those who seek support. Many families of affluence have friends in high places and some kind of standing at work and within the community. Affluent people generally are in the business of appearances and are fearful of falling down off the pedestal they are on in terms of standing. This makes it harder to get help from family, friends or accept the need for help from oneself.

Rock Bottom

When a person hits rock bottom, it can feel like the end of the line. People of affluence generally have more money and resources which prevent the bottom from falling out financially as quickly as others may experience. This keeps the individual from really hitting a point where it is necessary to seek help for the problem. Strategies may including taking vacations, going to college, seeking specialists and putting off the things that will help provide necessary treatment and recovery. Distractions are an easy way to avoid seeing a problem exists and seek to resolve the issues.

People, Places, Things

Being around other wealthy, affluent or famous people can be more difficult to separate from that lifestyle. That community can be very close-knit and exclusive, focused on the interactions of the upper echelon and their personal wealth and development. It can be quite closed off from realistic expectations of how to truly seek help needed when so many others may be in the same boat and enabling one another. Avoiding certain people may mean removing oneself from social circles to get healthy. Plenty of alcohol and drug use may be occurring and it may take time to break way from the privileged lifestyle. Accountability is a huge factor in seeking help for addiction.

Don’t let ego get in the way of seeking help. Sustain provides support for young people who need to quit alcohol and drugs and move towards a better way of living. Recovery is available for those who seek help. Call us to find out how to get started.

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