Addiction and Giving up the Pursuit of Wealth

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Money_(2)Our society is saturated with a culture of materialism and entailment. Much of this may stem from the nature in which many of us live our daily lives and the surrounding messages portrayed by every mass media. There is an undying sense of needing more, needing bigger and better, accumulating and acquiring to keep up with Joneses.

For many individuals, this is what drives and motivates them everyday – the pursuit of materialistic things, wealth, and status. For some people, happiness is truly equated with money, or it is thought that with wealth, many problems will be solved or diminished.

The Empty Pursuit of Wealth

Sadly, the empty pursuit of wealth can lead to many compromises or even distractions from the invaluable and priceless things that life really has to offer. The pursuit of becoming rich or establishing monetary gain may lead to unhealthy behaviors, particularly in the area of addiction.

When wealth is at the forefront of one’s mind, this can lead to a dangerous mindset overall which sacrifices all else for the sake of what is being pursued.

Addiction to Work

Young man in the officeWorking in itself can become an addiction, and a person can become so involved in their work that the rest of their life is compromised. This might include family, relationships, health, mental well-being, and more.

While a strong work ethic is important, “workaholics” often go to extreme measures to engage themselves in the work they are doing. In this situation, the pursuit of wealth through excessive work can be dangerous and unhealthy.

How Drugs or Alcohol Come into Play

In other scenarios, a person can develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol in the pursuit towards wealth and status. This might arise as a result of being in certain social circles or in attempt to portray a certain appearance towards others to gain affluence.

While addictions to drugs or alcohol typically are the result of a combination of factors, including biological influences, the environment in which one is surrounded by can be powerful in the development and progression of an addiction.

Wealth to Furnish Addictive Behaviors

newspaper-412452_640For some individuals who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, obtaining wealth might become a way in which to furnish the addictive behaviors. As addictions to substances are often costly, some people may find that the pursuit of wealth is primarily to maintain a certain lifestyle or to feed an addiction to expensive drugs and alcohol.

This scenario is particularly dangerous, as some addicts may compromise their character and work ethic to obtain the resources needed to maintain their addiction.

Wealth Cannot Solve Inner Problems

Whatever the scenario may be, it is important to understand that wealth is not the answer to life’s problems or difficulties, and any pursuit of wealth should be carefully examined. This is particularly true if any sort of addiction is involved, whether it be to work or to drugs or alcohol.

Understanding motives behind the aspiration to obtaining wealth and status is crucial to determining priorities in life.

Seeking Out Resources to Help

Mother and daughter on tablet computerIf for any reason you have found yourself in financial difficulty as a result of an addiction, be sure to seek out the help and resources you need to rebuild your life. If an addiction to drugs or alcohol is present, treating the addiction should be a priority first and foremost.

If you have all the money in the world but do not have your health, you may be missing out on one of the most important gifts. Addiction recovery and treatment can be an essential tool for teaching you balance and helping you reestablish priorities in your life.

If you are in need of information for treatment and help, be sure to check out the many resources that are available on the Addiction Hope website. Your journey to healing and lasting recovery from addiction can begin today by reaching out for the help you need.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are your thoughts on giving up the pursuit of wealth, especially when an addiction is involved? What do you think are helpful ways to create a healthy perspective about money?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 19th, 2015
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