While it’s true that some people carry a genetic predisposition to developing addiction, many characteristics which drive CEOs, high-level executives and entrepreneurs to reach those levels of success may also contribute to substance abuse.
We view risk-taking, dedication, obsession and a strong drive for success as positive traits — but according to Johns Hopkins’ Dr. David Linden, “The pleasure derived from success, and in particular from risky or novel business ventures, is borne of the very same brain pathways that make substance use so irresistible to some. It’s all about pleasure-seeking and reward.”
If you’re worried about possible addiction, here are some signs that indicate it’s time to seek professional help.
- You’ve lied about your alcohol or drug use or cover it up at work and have concealed a double-life to enable substance abuse.
- Your employees cover for you.
- Your friends, family or colleagues have noticed a change in your behavior or personality and you experience irritability or mood swings.
- You struggle to stay alert and your productivity and concentration have decreased.
Addiction is a progressive disorder that short-term solutions don’t fix. The best liars eventually show symptoms of addiction as their bodies and mental well-being collapse under the stress and strain of trying to live a normal life.
When you’re struggling with addiction, recovery may feel out of reach. It’s especially challenging, unnerving and scary when your professional life is at stake. This resource from Helpguide.org is a great place to research the treatment and support you need.
Get support you need
It’s important to realize that seeking help for an addiction doesn’t sound the death toll of your career. Specialized help now exists—like exec rehab centers—to provide discrete, comprehensive treatment that respects your privacy.
While it may feel costly to step back from your career, treating your addiction and getting your personal and professional life back on track is worth the one to three months it takes. During treatment, you learn:
How to manage stress more effectively. Work-related and chronic stress is a leading cause of addictive behaviors. You’ll be encouraged to create new, healthy habits that include a better diet and regular exercise to help you manage stress. Your treatment center may use a number of other methods to help you cope with stress, including meditation and hypnosis, both of which can be continued throughout the lifelong recovery process.
How to make better, healthier (and sometimes difficult) decisions. You may conclude, as you work through treatment that you need to take a step back from a position of responsibility if that position triggers addictive behaviors.
How to prioritize sobriety over your career. If you discover that it’s best to start over, look at the positives: an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Sometimes, unhappiness in a previous position drives addictive behaviors. When starting fresh, you control the all the possibilities; strive for balance in your career, sobriety and private life.
Finding the right recovery center
There’s a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment centers available for people seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders. But if you’re a professional or executive who needs to maintain a work presence during treatment, it’s critical to find the right program.
Executive rehab centers offer 24-hour care and treatment and facilitate a CEO’s need to remain active in his or her company. These programs understand the importance of maintaining your business reputation, career connections and responsibilities while treating your addiction.
CEO rehab facilities promote positive relationships among the executive patients and encourage interaction and bonding with peers. They also offer business amenities like:
- Private conference rooms and phone access
- Video conference services
- Computer access
- Seclusion, privacy, and discretion
Because they cater to high-profile clients and executives and often feature resort-like settings, including gym facilities, in-house massage therapy and other typical five-star accommodations including private rooms, comfortable furnishings, and healthy, catered meals.
CEOs and other executives often eschew addiction treatment because they’re worried about their reputations, believe they cannot miss work and lack the support of other professionals since their peer groups are smaller. However, the physical, mental and financial risks of avoiding treatment supersede the cost of taking time to address substance abuse.
Photo Credit: Pexels.com