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By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

The union of affluence and influence is a powerful one. Often times, where there is one, there you’ll find the other. Being a person of wealth, while perhaps challenging at times, brings a certain sense of comfort. It releases the burden of having to be a “slave to the lender”. Money talks, it’s what makes the world go round, in fact, there’s the old adage that suggests money answereth everything. When you’re rich, there isn’t much you can’t do and if you can’t do something, you pay someone who can. Most people strive to be wealthy for that purpose. The idea of having a carefree life full of luxury and financial freedom seems epic. No cares in the world, no one to answer to, no having to get up early to go to a job you don’t like, kissing up to people who don’t appreciate you and doing your best to earn your part of the “American Dream”. Most of us want that “pie in the sky”. It makes us feel as though we are safe, there’s the idea that wealth brings security. If you’re rich, you haven't a problem in the world. Right?

For most people who have a keen understanding about life in general and with social media giving us a closer look into the lives of the more fortunate, we all know that in reality, a lot of this isn’t true. In fact, when it comes to having money, there aren’t many people who can sum it up so eloquently as one iconic street poet did when he said that where there’s “Mo’ Money” there’s “Mo’ Problems.” People chase the green like a good golf swing, it’s natural to want, but at what cost? There have even been reported horror stories of lottery winners who have won mega jack pots, enough to last them generations, but because of a lack of understanding on how to maintain said wealth, have gone bankrupt within 5 years of becoming “newly rich”. It doesn’t take a Harvard study to figure out that having wealth doesn’t mean not having problems and it’s from this foundation where we address this myth.


While it is true that drug and alcohol addiction tends to be more prevalent among lower income households, some attribute it to the fact that lack of higher education and the lack of knowledge and understanding on how to deal with life’s problems can contribute to the overall addiction issue ( But does a lack of understanding discriminate between the rich and the poor? Do life’s problems affect one more than the other? Absolutely not. In fact, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

"The Contra Costa Times reported Feb. 19 that disposable income, disconnected families, and pressure to succeed all contribute to drug use among upscale youth, adding that parents in these communities add to the problem by denying that it occurs." -DrugFree.Org

The same can be true of adults. Being disconnected, overworked, feeling inadequate and not able to handle the pressure of keeping up with the Jones’ (or Kardashians as it were) can contribute to the rise in substance abuse and addiction within people of affluence. Add to that the access of disposable income and there you have the perfect storm. The impact can result not only in the loss of wealth, but families, friends and overall livelihood. The cycle then comes full circle when there’s the feeling that there is no one person or thing to turn to accept that which has caused the initial downfall. As it has been said before, addiction does not discriminate. It does not care who you are, what you do, what your social status is, what influence you hold on any particular person or parcel of prominence. Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer and it has no qualms in taking out any and all who stand in its path. It’s what it was born to do. But is that the end of your story? 

It doesn’t have to be. While it may seem cliche, the reality is that hope, help and healing are just a phone call away. No pressure, no prejudice, just Parkdale. We’re available to help get you what you need so you can get where you’re going. Become the person you were meant to be. It all begins with giving us a call. 

For more information on Parkdale Center you can visit us at We look forward to hearing your story and hopefully adding a new chapter.