Drug addiction and alcoholism doesn’t discriminate. Rich or poor, young or old, famous or obscure – substance abuse has been called an equal opportunity destroyer.
You may have read studies that present statistics showing women as more susceptible to alcoholism, or drug addiction rates reported higher for certain age groups. While the research is likely accurate, don’t be misled into thinking those who don’t belong in the stated demographics are safe from being afflicted. Visit any alcohol treatment facility, and you’ll discover those undergoing treatment and rehabilitation come from different – and all – walks of life.
As a further example of how alcoholism can affect anyone, there is the recent passing of famous painter Thomas Kinkade, the self-named “Painter of Light.” As an artist who focused on realistic paintings with popular and idealistic subjects, mainly landscapes and country gardens, Kinkade was often criticized as producing artwork that appealed to the masses while not impacting or improving the industry.
Through deliberate commercialization of his art, he became widely popular and financially successful. These are strategies and feats not commonly associated with artistic painters. On the surface, Kinkade seemed to have a good and comfortable life. In truth he struggled with alcoholism for several years, and it’s reported he had a relapse just before his death. While no one can be sure if his success – or criticisms – attributed to or caused his alcoholism, his struggles show anyone, even successful painters, can be affected by substance abuse.
An often-stated analysis of alcoholism or any other type of addiction is that it’s how a person attempts to cope with an intolerable situation. This difficulty the afflicted person is trying to escape from can be found across spheres, from the material to the emotional.
Alcoholism can be a problem for anyone, regardless of social standing. Effective alcohol treatment centers on the individual’s unique needs, challenges and goals. A holistic approach can provide the best chances for recovery because recovery is not a “one-size-fits-all” path.