Addiction and Power: A Dilemma

Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It spans all walks of life, even in the presence of massive wealth, political clout, fame, celebrity background or family status.

Wealthy, powerful people can afford the world’s finest health care and they have access to the best addiction treatment money can buy. However, treatment is often anything but private, especially when reporters, Paparazzi and other gossip-mongers are lurking in every corner and "news", real or fabricated, can end up on the evening news. For high profile individuals, a lack of privacy and anonymity associated with rehab often comes with an immeasurable cost, and many wealthy people face a dilemma: they are unable or unwilling to enter treatment without an absolute assurance of privacy and confidentiality, even when treatment is desperately needed.

It’s unfortunate that stigma continues to surround addiction, that it is still considered by many as the result of weakness, lack of character or bad habits. In spite of indisputable scientific awareness that chemical dependency changes the biochemical makeup of the brain, many people fail to recognize that it is a chronic disease much like diabetes or asthma. Stigma prevents people from seeking help, thus creating tremendous shame, isolation and anxiety that bar the way to recovery that for some, may be a matter of life and death.

High profile business leaders and executives experience a great deal of pressure, and often turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with burnout and stress. Many wealthy addicted people are extremely high-functioning and able to maintain a full calendar of high-pressure business and social requirements in spite of severe addictions to alcohol, drugs or destructive behaviors such as gambling or sex.
However, if word gets out, publicity about mental illness or addiction can not only destroy reputations and topple careers, but threaten entire corporations when leadership is challenged and stock values plummet. It goes without saying that political figures and governmental leaders must take great pains to keep addictions and mental health issues out of the spotlight; they are under intense scrutiny and many people enjoy watching them fall.

When addiction becomes a problem for the super wealthy, business associates, personal assistants, and private physicians are ready and willing to step in and keep the addiction hidden. Often even families turn a blind eye and fail to admit a problem exists. Shielding addicted people in this manner does great harm and very little good, as it removes natural consequences and allows addictive behavior to continue without limits until life begins to crumble and treatment becomes unavoidable.

Conservative cultural and religious values can also create barriers to treatment, and addictions are again shielded under a cloak of secrecy. For example, drug laws are particularly harsh and substance use is forbidden in many Middle Eastern Countries, especially substance use by women. Male heads of family are powerful and their respect and influence is tremendous, especially for royal or ruling families. Word of addiction can pose very real threats to all levels of society, affecting even the political and economic atmosphere.

In such cultures, treatment for addiction and mental health is often viewed as intrusive and care providers are mistrusted. An addicted family member can bring great shame and embarrassment to the family, so addictions are often handled at home, where privacy is assured. However, fear of reprisal requires some to hide their addiction even from their closest family members. As a result, the addiction is allowed to continue in isolation and the consequences are dire.

A quick Internet search reveals hundreds of high-end treatment centers around the world, all claiming to offer treatment that is private, discreet or confidential. Many rehabs market themselves as “luxury,” or “executive” treatment centers. Some even carry an unspoken status as celebrity rehab centers, creating an image of addiction treatment as just another Hollywood party for spoiled actors and out-of-control rock stars with millions of fans. Image can become more important than the quality of treatment.

Rehabilitation centers that can provide complete discretion and quality treatment are almost non-existent, but Paracelsus Recovery is the exception. We provide the most exclusive rehab in the world, where each person is treated in 100 percent privacy. We provide highly individualized treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, behavioral problems and emotional afflictions. Treatment is carefully tailored to accommodate critical work and public responsibilities.
We focus on one client at a time, and we take a number of careful steps to ensure privacy, including assignment of pseudonyms and fictitious birth dates for each client. Treatment takes place in a luxury private residence or hotel with a highly qualified, live-in addiction professional. Other therapists, psychiatrists and doctors come to the residence according to an individual daily schedule. Treatment is available around the clock, and each client is assured of eight to 12 hours of one-on-one therapy every day. A chef prepares all meals in a fully equipped kitchen, housekeepers and butlers ensure the utmost comfort.

At Paracelsus, high profile individuals have access to the most advanced treatment in an atmosphere of absolute secrecy. A huge barrier to treatment is thus removed and clients are able to relax and to concentrate solely on their recovery in peace and comfort, with absolutely no threat of intrusion or interference. The therapeutic climate is warm and welcoming, respectful and honest. All of our therapists, medical and complementary therapy staff are mature, experienced people with a sincere dedication to their job and the wellbeing and thriving of the client and their family.

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