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More Finance Executives Seeking Addiction Treatment

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Addiction treatment centers are seeing an influx of financial executives as the economic downturn takes a toll on personal and professional lives, Reuters reported March 24.

“We absolutely do see more people coming in naming either a job loss or huge financial reversals or big investments with Bernie Madoff,” said Sigurd Ackerman, medical director at the Silver Hill Hospital rehabilitation facility in New Canaan, Conn. Ackerman said professionals were being admitted with depression, addiction problems, or both.

The financial crisis is a major factor in alcohol and other drug use according to Robert Curry, who founded Turning Point for Leaders, a coaching and consulting firm in New Canaan that creates treatment programs for senior executives. “Companies are downsizing,” he said. “Budgets are being trimmed, and yet we're seeing an increase in our business.”

Joseph Califano, founder of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, said that people drink more in difficult economic times, but financial institutions have not done enough to help employees cope in the past. “There's still tremendous stigma and shame,” he said. “This is not a moral failing, it's a disease.”

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