Common mental images of UHNWIs include a well-dressed man sipping scotch on his superyacht. It's overused, but it's also not far from the truth. There is a correlation between success and alcohol consumption, with men consuming nearly twice as much as women when they reach the same level of accomplishment. A Norwegian survey of 30 European countries found that the wealthy drink more than any other socioeconomic category.

In honour of Men's Health Week, we take a look at the destructive relationship that alcohol can have on the lives of many wealthy and successful men. The number of famous men who have battled alcoholism is surprisingly high. Famous people who have struggled with substance abuse are numerous and include Elton John, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Ratcliffe, and Ewan McGregor. The defamation action Johnny Depp filed against Amber Heard more recently exposed his substance use.

We also now know that Amber Heard has struggled with anxiety and substance abuse. While the topic of this blog is mostly focused on the well-being of men, it is important to note that women in the ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) sector are not immune to alcoholism either. The wealthy as a whole, not just those in the spotlight, are vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol abuse and dependence. As a result of increased convenience, substance abuse is more likely to spread within the private spheres of the world's wealthiest and most successful people.

The provocative Netflix show Succession dramatises the interactions of a highly dysfunctional super-rich family, and alcohol plays a major role in the show. The show is made up, but the complicated interactions that many ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) have with drugs and alcohol are presented fairly. The question then becomes why the wealthy are disproportionately represented in the alcoholism statistics. A person's psyche may suffer as a result of having a lot of money.

Success and its downsides

Many people see success and prosperity as a blessing, but for others, it can be a curse. It appears that the extremely wealthy are more likely to suffer from alcoholism and other addictions. That's not to say that people from other socioeconomic backgrounds don't struggle with substance abuse; it's just that the underlying issues are different.

Many successful individuals become functioning alcoholics. The Reasons Why This Might Be Included:
  1. Separation from parents
    1. Separation from parents Many children from affluent families have nannies until they are old enough to attend boarding school. There is a lot of pressure to get drunk at boarding schools, especially for young guys. While children are growing up, parents in extremely wealthy families are often preoccupied with work, travel, and elite social events. Children raised in such a manner often develop feelings of isolation and abandonment. According to studies, many wealthy families routinely and severely neglect their privileged children. Substance abuse and alcoholism are unfortunately too often the crutches that adolescents turn to in order to cope with or numb their anxiety and depression as they enter their teen years.
  2. Pressure to achieve
    It's common in wealthy families for there to be pressure to continue the family's success and fortune. One or two family members may bear the brunt of the added stress. It's not shocking that some people in such a predicament would turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medication.
  3. Stress
    It's easy to assume that there's not much to worry about when riches are accumulated beyond the reach of commoners. However, the tension and worry caused by the dread of losing such wealth, power, and prestige is its own beast. Those in the public eye are not immune to concerns about their image. Just like that, this can be really debilitating. The lack of a sense of direction can be a major source of misery, even for the wealthy, who have no practical need for employment.
How to spot the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic
  • An insufficient amount of alcohol is always consumed.
  • Helps friends and family members by drinking up their leftover drinks.
  • Keeps a stash of liquor in a hidden location, like a desk drawer or the glove box of their automobile.
  • When denied a beverage, this person becomes belligerent and angry.
  • neglects favourite drinking; routinely consumes alcohol throughout mealtimes.
  • Alone time with a drink
  • No longer suffers the effects of alcohol; apparently has built up a tolerance.
  • Having power outages frequently
There are consequences to drinking to excess.

There are consequences to drinking in excess. Excessive drinkers put their health in danger in a number of ways. It's important to understand that alcoholics go through three distinct stages. During the onset of alcoholism, drinking shifts from being a social activity to an everyday necessity. To the naked eye, nothing seems amiss, but the booze is beginning to wreak havoc on the inside. The liver, for instance, may begin to metabolise alcoholic beverages at a faster rate as a means of adaptation.

Alterations in brain chemistry are seen. As a result of these alterations, one can initially experience enhanced alcohol tolerance. The problem is that this frequently results in even more drinking. Liver fat accumulates when one drinks excessively and frequently. Fatty liver disease affects a greater percentage of alcoholics than any other risk factor. The person may show no outward signs of alcoholism at this point, and the harm may be recoverable if they are able to stop drinking. Dependence heightens when alcoholism worsens.

Tremors, increased sweating, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia are just some of the withdrawal symptoms that might occur if someone stops drinking regularly. During this time, many men get irritable or even hostile, making it impossible to confront them about their drinking. However, they will begin to exhibit signs of illness. Alcoholism's most serious consequences, like alcohol-related hepatitis and liver damage, only manifest later on. Liver cirrhosis causes permanent tissue damage that can ultimately be fatal. The liver disease responsible for alcoholic cirrhosis accounts for the deaths of roughly 60%–90% of those who suffer from it.

Recovery is possible

Substance abuse using alcohol is a major issue. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a crisis or a determined family member to get someone to admit they have an alcohol problem and get help. Finding a therapy centre and/or therapist that has a thorough understanding of life as a celebrity, business or political influence, and enormous wealth is difficult, even when the war is won. Confidentiality and space are essential for healing and recovery. More than 15 therapists, specialists, and medical experts are on staff at Abhasa, and they all have a firm grasp of the specific pressures faced by the world's wealthiest people.

Alcoholism is just the beginning of the problems that can arise from drinking too much. Problems, including emotional neglect and trauma, are often at the root of the problems addressed by our approach. The Abhasa Luxury Rehab Centre in India Concept, a multidisciplinary holistic approach, is the foundation of our comprehensive programme (recommended for addiction treatment). New approaches to healing from things like trauma and addiction are included. As a result of our thorough and multidisciplinary diagnosis, we are able to create a unique treatment plan for each patient. Psychiatry, psychotherapy, orthomolecular medicine, and CAM are only some of the programmes that have been shown to be effective.

Prepared by: Ms.Nivedha L Narayanan, Centre Head at Abhasa Rehabilitation and Wellness Home
LinkedIn Id: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nivedha-l-narayanan-1781b6120/