Wealth has very little to do with propensity towards addiction. Stereotypes form because substance abuse is in fact more common among individuals living in poverty or of lower economic status, however the two aren’t necessarily linked. Learn more about the role of affluence in addiction.


Substance abuse is a byproduct of lifestyle led by people with financial resources. Indirectly, there are contributing risk factors not just one sole cause. There are a combination of genetic and environmental influences. Some commonly associated links between economic status and substance abuse include:

  • Education
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Genetics
  • Mental health
  • Race
  • Poverty versus wealth
  • Parental substance abuse

A wealthy person is not more likely to necessarily experience the same traumas it is that is is less likely to occur in households that are not in poverty. The risk factors which predispose a person to substance abuse and addiction are more prevalent in lower economic areas and families than others.


People with higher educations are less likely to be substance abusers. This has lots of meaning for those who cannot afford education beyond high school, if this is true. Although levels do decline, the least significant change was among students whose parents did not attend high school. Highly educated people are just as susceptible to using and abusing drugs and alcohol as anyone else, in spite of the statistics.

Parental Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Parental substance use during childhood years can negatively predispose individuals to a host of problems with adult drug and alcohol abuse being one of them. Children of alcoholic parents have a fourfold increased risk of dependence on alcohol later in live. Approximately nine percent of American children live with at least one parent who abuses drugs or alcohol.

Poverty vs. Wealth

Overall, substance abuse is more prevalent among families living in poverty as risk factors for abuse skyrocket. A person who makes less than $20,000 annually is about one-third less likely to recover from a cocaine addiction. This is also likely due to lack of options for treatment. Substance abuse and homelessness often co-occur due to the crisis of living on the street, coping with mental illness, anxiety and extreme poverty. Mental illness affects approximately one third of homeless individuals.

No regulation has been set on the amount a substance abuse treatment facility may charge for services. Many people may go without treatment. Many settle for less even than what is necessary to recovery from addiction due to the rising cost of care but hope is still available for those who need help to recover from addiction with the right resources and treatment plans.

Hired Power provides assistance to individuals in need of treatment options for addiction. Call us to find out how we can help you find the right options to get back on your feet and start life afresh.