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Can the Internet be addictive?

Opponents of online gambling have long said that the activity is dangerous because it can be addictive. Players who are addicted to online gambling can blow all of their money and ruin their lives. While that is true, it accounts for a small percentage of players and it ignores the fact that many things can be addictive but are available to people. Alcohol and cigarettes are the two most obvious examples, but what about the Internet. A recent study out of China suggests that people can become addicted to the Internet.

Recent studies have shown that those who have an addiction to gambling usually are addicted to some substance, such as drugs or alcohol, as well. It shows an addictive personality trait or mental disorder. The same can be said of the Internet. In an interesting article found at guardian.co.uk, it was stated that studies say approximately 5-10% of Internet users are thought to be addicted to using the Web. In the Chinese study, brain scans showed anomalies consistent with those who have substance addictions.

The study of Internet use and suggestion that it can be addictive is still controversial. Still, there is enough merit to it that the American Psychiatric Association is considering updating the DSM to include Internet addiction as a disorder. If the Internet can be addictive, what does that mean for online gambling? Some would suggest that it makes gambling online more dangerous, and more likely to lead to addiction, than gambling offline. Others say that if the players didn’t get hooked on playing at online casinos, they would get addicted to eBay, Facebook or something else on the Web. The study, which used MRI scanners on adolescents who spent many hours on the Internet daily, hopes to lead to better treatment of the disorder.

Tags: addicted to internet, guardian.co.uk

Categories: Gambling News
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