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Can Personal Success Lead to Addiction?

A businesswoman sits and does work in a business building.
A strong drive to succeed can be a good thing, but it can also be destructive when paired with drugs or alcohol.


Imprisoned ponzi schemer, Bernie Madoff had so much cocaine in his office it was dubbed “The North Pole.”

Indeed, tales of Wall Street and drug use, especially stimulants, have been rampant for years. And it’s not just New York City, of course. Drug and alcohol abuse are a fact of life from small towns in Maine to the bustle of Los Angeles.

But there is a particular link between people who are driven enough to succeed wildly in the business world and people who go a little wild when it comes to drugs or alcohol.

Success and Addiction: The Addictive Personality

About 10 to 15 percent of us have an addictive personality, according to an article in Psychology Today written by Dr. Stephen Mason.

Basically, that means you don’t know when to stop.

That could translate into work days that stretch into 12 hours. It could also translate into alcohol or drug use that escalates quickly—and becomes a problem.

There are even some who blame the financial crisis of 2008 on cocaine, including David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College in England.

Nutt describes the banking industry as a “culture of excitement and drive and more and more and more.” That mentality, he said, mixed with cocaine, led to excessive risk taking.

Others have noted that stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are also a big part of the business world. Like cocaine, they can keep you going, even after a 12-hour day. Unlike cocaine, you won’t get fired if you’re seen taking one.

Being committed to success at all costs can definitely help you get ahead in the business world, but it can also be the same mindset that leads to substance abuse and addiction.

Recovery at The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center in Denver where you’ll work with a team of therapists to get your life back on track. We believe in a whole-person approach to recovery, which includes the physical, mental, psychological, social and emotional aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our 90-day drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

Tap button to call The Raleigh House.

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