The Challenge of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Families of Wealth

The Challenge of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Families of Wealth

Volume 17: The Challenge of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Families of Wealth

In Part 17 of the Family Office Association Podcast Audio Series, Angelo J. Robles is joined by Arden O’Conner to discuss alcoholism and substance abuse and how they impact wealthy families. Any family may face issues with substance abuse, including families of wealth. Alcoholism and substance abuse are diseases and need to be taken seriously with resources strategically applied to the problem.

Transcript Preview:

Angelo Robles: Hello everyone. It’s Angelo Robles of Family Office Association. In our audio podcast today we’re very fortunate to have Arden O’Connor, founder and CEO of O’Connor Professional Group. Arden, how are you?

Arden O’Connor: I’m well, thank you. How are you?

Angelo: Wonderful. I’ve had a chance to know Arden over the last several years. We’ve done some programs together and did a webcast about a year ago, certainly one of the true thought leaders in the space that we’ll be discussing today, and a subject matter that for some is very sensitive. That I believe for every family, and may be amplified more of the issues of the issues with families of wealth, are going to be the issues of substance abuse and mental health issues. Arden, why don’t we start with a little bit of background? Tell us a little bit about yourself please.

Arden: Sure. I come from a family of five, two brothers and myself, I’m the oldest of three, and my parents were from the Boston area. We grew up right outside of the city in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. I come from a family, I’m Irish Catholic by decent, so there is a fair amount of alcoholism and substance abuse throughout my family. My father is 30-some years in recovery and one brother is about 7 years in recovery and the other brother is about 2 years at this point. So we grew up in the Boston area. We had a brief period of time when we moved out to Arizona, and then my parents moved back to the Boston area. But I have grown up around wealth. I’ve grown up in the private school system, and I’ve grow up with not only my immediate family members, but some of my extended family members, as well as colleagues and friends who have struggled with behavioral health issues; so substance abuse, mental health, and eating disorder experiences.

Angelo: Yes. And certainly we’ll have a chance in today’s audio podcast to effectively touch, at least somewhat, on all of that. I’ll start with a specific question, perhaps a little bit ignorant from my perspective, but based on your response, to tell us a little bit about you and what you’re doing. You mentioned Irish Catholic, and some people will assume some other ethnicities as well that may be a little bit more susceptible to certain challenges, specifically in substance abuse. I would think from the outside looking in, and maybe it’s me being a little naïve, but I thought that was simply a myth. Is there a specific biological issue that is real?

Arden: There are certainly ethnicities that are more prone to prevalence in the substance abuse arena. I would also say, particularly….

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