When it comes to drug abuse, addiction and alcoholism, many people believe in negative stereotypes and associate addicts and alcoholics with certain classes of people. General stereotyping of substance abusers often depicts them as low income, uneducated or undereducated people of minority races. However, this could not be further from the truth. Drug addiction affects all people from every social, religious, economic and cultural background. Addiction is a clinical, progressive disease that affects doctors as much as janitors and restaurant workers as much as executives. Understanding how social status really impacts addiction and alcoholism is critical to developing effective treatment plans and educating a public that is often all too willing to stereotype people.,*AGE,There have been no studies that have found a prevalence of any particular age range of drug users. In fact, the largest growing segment of users is senior citizens – who routinely become addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs – and teenagers and young adults, who fall victim to peer pressure and an easy availability of many different types of drugs. A sampling of the age of inpatient rehab patients generally shows clients to be between the ages of 18 and 50. Of course, underage people must attend specialized programs, while many addicts and alcoholics over 50 have already succumbed to their disease.,*RACE,Race is not a factor in drug addiction. However, race is a factor that is associated with conditions that often cause people to turn to drugs. For instance, black people in certain areas may appear more likely to become addicted to drugs, but this is only because deplorable conditions and few opportunities lead them to drug use. Another race in the same situation would be just as likely to use drugs.,*OCCUPATION,People from all careers and occupational backgrounds use and become addicted to drugs. Executives and Wall Street brokers can and do become addicted to cocaine just as readily as the unemployed street user, while doctors may abuse prescription drugs just as often as the construction worker who buys Oxycontin on the street.,*RELIGION,Religion seems to have very little impact on propensity to use drugs or alcohol, except among congregations of closed society type religions. In fact, because most religions frown upon drug or alcohol use, people who do struggle with these problems are often unwilling to ask for help among their peers and risk severe consequences of continued use.,*EDUCATION,Professors of English are just as likely to become addicted to drugs as their students are. Likewise, the busy office manager who never completed college and the social worker with multiple bachelor’s degrees are also no more likely than the other to use drugs or alcohol. The only real difference is which person will be able to afford treatment for addiction or alcoholism.,Addiction is a disease that knows no social bounds – it can happen to anyone at any time, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. This is a neurological condition that must be treated medically in order to affect a lasting recovery from addiction, and all people from all walks of life are treated in the same way; with therapies and medication when appropriate.