Is Addiction a Middle Class Problem?

Women UK look at the growing problem of Addiction or is it a growing problem?


It could be argued that addiction of one sort or another is a growing phenomenon amongst the middle classes and indeed the middle aged. However, the answer to the question always depends on the way in which the question is posed. If we assume that the middle classes are reasonably well off and are frequently in professional careers or at least in middle management then we can use that description to ascertain the answers.

It can certainly be argued, as it has been widely in the media in recent months that many that fall within that demographic are sleep walking into the dangers of addiction, especially around the use and abuse of alcohol. Indeed in the USA what was once considered the scourge of the disposed and desperate, Heroin, is now mainly taken as a drug of choice by young affluent Americans. Ironically this is often due to the partial success of drug enforcement agencies making the drug harder to get and therefore driving up the price, making it less affordable to its more destitute clientle.

In a recent article a very well known rock star alledgedly stated that he survived the 60’s ,70’s 80’s and 90’s relatively unscathed but upon retirement became a chronic alcoholic when he had too much time on his hands. He was 55.

So part of the growth in addiction be it alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping or gambling are often becoming more frequent amongst the chattering classes because they have the time, money and boredom thresholds that breeds addiction.

Despite billions of dollars being invested into looking for the cause of addiction in the brain, a disease or biological disfunction of some sorts, there is no medical proof that it is a disease. Therefore we may need to look a little closer to home. Statistically the fastest growing group of addicts of one sort or another are middle class and middle aged. Is it just a coincidence that this same group of people have more time and money with which to indulge and therefore become addicted over time? Is it that this same demographic of baby boomers also as a generality have dismissed more conventional religious constraints and unlike any generation before them have embraced freedom and choice with both arms?

Money and time can be a dangerous combination, or as my Grandmother used to say ‘The devil makes work for idle hands’

Addiction can be a comfortable slide into a dark and foreboding place and once there it can be very lonely. However it should also be noted that one in three of us have some form of addiction. Its what we do with it and about it that will dictate how things turn out.

For more information, click here to go to Addiction Behaviour Therapy website.

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