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#65 - Rehab

#65 - Rehab

Rehab
Price: Potential Sunburn

A few months after grey became the new black, rehab became the new grey. The only thing more fashionable than checking into rehab is friends and family hosting an intervention before checking into rehab. This is the highest compliment that rich people can pay one another as it says they care, they want you to get better and that they will probably still spend time with you when you no longer drive exotic cars into the neighbor’s pool. While rehab has become an exclusive club for the wealthy, there is a danger for the uninformed of checking into the wrong clinic only to be ostracized after spending four long weeks listening to Melanie Griffith drone on about Antonio Banderas.

Just as there is a difference between golfing at Sebonac and playing mini putt in New Jersey, rich people prefer Malibu, Antigua and Australia when powdering one’s nose culminates in a 12 step program. I should point out that rich people don’t plan to end up in rehab but if a penchant for excess has gotten out of hand there’s no point in leaving it to Nurse Ratched to wean hard partiers off of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Rehabilitation can take place in the lap of luxury where nearly every whim is satisfied. In fact, given that guests of the clinic are no longer supplying a kilo of coke for nightly parties hosted at their LA mansion, rehab can actually pay for itself.

More important than the high cost and the goal of sobriety are the potential friendships that clinics like Promises, Cirque Lodge and Crossroads provide. For the wealthy, a stint at a chic clinic in beautiful Malibu can mean an improved circle of friends and access to the A-List that may otherwise be unattainable. Granted, the new friends will be reasonably dull for the first few months but Kate Moss and Mary-Kate Olsen are rumored regulars at top clinics so it won’t be long before their mood improves. While rehab can be a great place to meet celebrities, it is recommended that business partnerships are formed elsewhere. It would be a pity if the seed money resulted in a relapse at Beat-rice in the West Village.

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#64 - Prescription Drugs

#64 - Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drugs
Price: A Trip to Rehab

The lives of rich people can be very difficult. Suppose the maid needs a day off or the nanny wants to take the long weekend to see family and friends, what then? The trials and tribulations that disrupt wealthy lives is a long and distinguished list; choosing spas, hiring pool boys, all night parties, dressing for charity galas, and choosing the perfect pair of shoes come to mind. Fortunately there is a cure for all that life can throw at the rich, prescription drugs! 

When rich people tell you about the problems they face, it is your duty to pretend to empathize, ask how they cope and in most circles suggest that your doctor can help. This will win you major points as you have legitimized their habit and it gives them the opportunity to showcase a deep knowledge of pharmaceuticals and their grasp of the social scene. Like everything in wealthy circles, the ebb and flow of fashion plays an important role in choosing the right prescription cocktail. God forbid that they get caught swallowing the same “pick-me-up” that leads to Lindsay Lohan’s next indiscretion!

While rich people don’t approve of illicit drug use, cocaine exempted, they do believe there is a time and place for drugs backed with a doctor’s signature, even if they have to go to a podiatrist to get it. The time is whenever life’s crises arise and the place is the bathroom of any private or public establishment. These medical marvels can be relied on to get any trust fund baby to a pillowed, blissful dreamscape and often play a role in making people interesting. Never forget that there is a dark side to prescription drugs. The best rehab clinics have wait lists so the wealthy must skillfully plan their addictions lest they end up bunking with Andy Dick in Sleepy Hollow rather than tanning with Mary Kate Olsen in an exclusive Malibu resort, ahem, clinic. In the meantime, read two articles at Stuff Rich People Love and call me in the morning.

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#31 - Cocaine

#31 - Cocaine

Cocaine
Price: $23,000 per kg

Rich people have strains and stresses that the middle class do not understand. While the middle class worry about their jobs and their 401(k) plans, the rich have to worry about which boarding school the children will attend, Bentley or Rolls and custom Italian or English suits. Despite these ungodly pressures, they must maintain confidence and alertness across global time zones. Fortunately nature provided just the product and as such, the rich love cocaine. Naturally, not all rich people use cocaine just as not all poor people smoke crack, but the fact remains that funding the Colombian economy is happening by the kilo, not the gram.

Coke, blow, candy cane, Angie, Flake, Aunt Nora, Scottie, Charlie, and dream are all names that the rich use when talking about their recreational drug of choice. Why not call it cocaine? Using pseudonyms for nose candy gives young millionaires “street cred” among their WASP friends and renaming cocaine is a game of sorts; while you were studying at college to improve your life, wealthy frat boys were coming up creative monikers for the primary use of their trust funds. Think of it as a rite of passage for the wealthy to help overcome the crassness of discussing illicit substances. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for this South American powder, most wealthy college attendees would hardly have had the stamina to attend class after an all-night kegger, would lack the ability to concentrate during exams and may not have been interesting enough to their sycophantic colleagues to have had friends at all.

Cocaine wasn’t always the popular drug it is now. While Freud is most often associated with more despicable habits like the Oedipus Complex, the modern world can thank his research and his early use of cocaine for its general acceptance. His paper On Coca or Über Coca was well received and led to a virtual explosion of cocaine’s inclusion in products such as colas, cigarettes, wine and analgesics. As with most controlled substances, too much of a good thing can be very bad indeed. Its highly addictive properties and availability in numerous forms means the estimated market in the US exceeded $70 billion in 2005 and today is popular as a club drug. Surprisingly, while many people won’t sit on a toilet seat in a club, snorting lines off of them is perfectly acceptable.

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#25 - Valium

#25 - Valium

Valium™
Price: $0.34 per pill

Rich people have very difficult lives. They are constantly anxious over when the Bentley will be carjacked, whether the maid is stealing silverware, if there will be enough caviar when Chas Underwood III visits and are they appropriately hedged against Yen exposure in their rapidly appreciating stock portfolios. If you aren’t shouldering upper class burdens but seek to befriend the rich, you must understand the desire…no, the necessity of a pharmaceutical approach to ridding one’s life of stress and strain.

Fortunately, Dr. Leo Sternbach and the good men and women of Hoffman-La Roche had the wherewithal to synthesize Diazepam in 1960 and help even the most troubled socialite to medicate their problems away. Marketed as Valium, Diazepam rapidly became the most prescribed drug in the United States between 1963 and 1982 with sales topping 2.3 billion tablets in 1978! Most commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, it is also used for insomnia, agitation, alcohol withdrawal and sedation. The availability of Valium makes it socially acceptable but as with all drugs, it should never be taken without consulting a medical professional as it is highly addictive and overdoses can be fatal.

Available as a blue or yellow pill and famously referenced as ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ by the Rolling Stones, Valium is a staple for the rich but beware. Mr. Howard Hughes developed a severe addiction and his post-mortem toxicology report revealed high dosages of Valium and codeine. Fortunately, the less-reclusive rich have access to doctors at nearly every country club function to ensure that they are well sedated in a safe manner with only mild dangers of long-term addiction. Side effects may include confusion, fever, chills, drowsiness, slurred speech, diminished libido, and nausea. A final side effect, if the wealthy seem terribly uptight and massively constipated, this may simply be intemperate reliance on Valium. Of course, they may actually be arrogant bastards.

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