Over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction. Although there’s a lot of emphasis placed on opioid addiction in the wake of our nation’s epidemic, there are certainly other kinds of addictions that don’t involve substance abuse at all. Yet, these addictions still involve compulsive behaviors that release dopamine in the brain and allow for an escape from reality. Gambling addictions are a great example — and now, there’s a new type for the modern age: cryptocurrency addictions.
Although up to 65% of medical situations handled in the emergency room could be treated at urgent care locations, there are certain conditions that require specialized attention. That’s the thought process behind Craig Castle Hospital’s newest treatment option. The Scottish medical clinic has started treating patients for cryptocurrency trading addictions. According to healthcare experts, this practice can eventually turn into a behavioral addiction, causing individuals to compulsively monitor the near-constant fluctuations in the values of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
The hospital is offering residential treatment courses to address underlying causes of cryptocurrency addictions, which are similar to the techniques used to treat those with gambling problems.
As hospital therapist Chris Burn explained to the Evening Standard, ” The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”
Some of the treatment sessions will be lead by Tony Marini, who is described as a former gambling addict and cocaine addict. Marini told local news media, “I see cryptocurrency trading as a way for people to escape from themselves, into another world, because they don’t like the world they’re in. The first stage of treatment is to join other addicts in group therapy and share their life stories. This helps them identify with each other and realize that they’re not alone.”
Addiction.com reports that 3% to 5% of gamblers struggle with addictions to other activities, which could give credence to the idea of cryptocurrency trading as a potentially addictive behavior. And as Marini told the media, trading cryptocurrency could appeal to those with addictive personalities looking for an escape from reality.
Because cryptocurrency itself is a relatively new development, no current statistics exist on the number of cryptocurrency addicts throughout the world. But there’s certainly anecdotal evidence that shows how easy it can be to lose it all in the name of Bitcoin. There’s even an article published by Steemit that might help traders identify whether they could be addicted to crypto.
Considering that 13 million people worldwide are currently involved in cryptocurrency trading, it’s possible that Craig Castle Hospital’s program won’t be the last to target those struggling with this unique addiction. With any luck, the formulation of programs like these can remove the stigma from addictions of all kinds and convince those who are struggling to seek out help.