Facts of Life
Among the strange and frustrating facts of life is the fact that we humans can become addicted to the things that give us pleasure. I call this fact strange simply because it can happen. I call it frustrating because it often does. My personal sense is that society used to associate and identify the issue of addiction almost exclusively with those classified as “substance abusers” and approached it mainly with concerns about drug and alcohol abuse.
But now it seems we are recognizing something like a virtual epidemic of addictive tendency. The other part of this perception comes simply from the recognition that our society has long-indulged in many forms of legalized drug-use, such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and that many of our socially acceptable and popular past-times have the potential to become qualified pathological conditions.
Gambling is a notable example of this. Other examples include food, exercise and sex addiction. Most recently, activities like internet usage and social media are commonly acknowledged as potentially. And these technologies represent and raise many new concerns, ranging from the increase of availability to the technological innovation which makes it easier for players to become addicted. This analysis is very relevant to the subject of problem gambling.
That is, problem gambling exists not only in traditional forms with traditionally-associated problems, but also in new forms, which bring new types of problems. In fact, from the perspective of someone who works in the field, it seems as if modern society has just begun to address the problems of modern problem gambling, even while that reality is quickly evolving and increasing in potential harm. In fact, in the world of problem gambling and beyond it, our society is literally creating new ways for the human brain to become addicted—and then making sure everyone is familiar with them through channels like advertising and social media.
Such trends imply a challenging future, where technology outpaces our ability to manage its power and control its effects. If you recognize such challenges in your own life or in the life of someone you know and care about, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.
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