The media went into a frenzy recently when Professor David Nutt commented in the press that cocaine abuse by reckless financiers played a significant role in the global financial crisis. However, Mr Alastair Mordey, Programme Director for The Cabin Chiang Mai, a prominent addiction treatment centre based in Asia, has countered that these claims, and finds the idea that cocaine use made bankers “overconfident” and led them to take greater and unnecessary risks ‘tenuous…at best.’
Located in Thailand, the Cabin Chiang Mail is one of the most successful treatment centres for addiction in the world, with 96% completion rates for every program. Drawing on his experience working with hundreds of addicts at the centre, Mr Mordey believes that people with addictive personalities are drawn to highly competitive environments where acquiring status, power and money are normal and encouraged behaviours- factors which are abundant in places as The City. He believes that, whilst financial centres may encourage addictions to develop, the underlying factors that make people susceptible to addiction are in place long before they come to the trading floor.
Mr Mordey believes that some people with addictive personalities are drawn to highly competitive environments where acquiring status, power and money are normal and encouraged behaviours- factors which are abundant in places as The City
Mr Mordey comments: “A drug user use drugs because they have dysfunctional brain circuitry and are therefore drawn to excessive over achieving, ultra-competitive environments, risk taking, and drug use. These people are likely to be over-represented in professions such as banking, but also in many other professions including medicine, the armed forces, the arts and so on.”
Drawing on the number of high net worth business leaders who have visited the centre, he notes that, “Professions such as banking attract risk taking high achievers who are drawn to ultra-competitive environments.”
He went on to assert that, “There are certain people who are predisposed not only to using drugs, but also to risk taking and high octane environments like banking, because they have a deficiency in certain brain chemicals, which deliver reward and pleasure. Such people will experience boredom more acutely and require greater stimulation, greater reward and greater pleasure than the average person.”