Friday, August 24, 2012

Cut the C#$%: Drugs, Gambling, and Sex---Oh My!

Drugs, Gambling, and Sex---Oh My!: 
The Growing Plethora of Addiction

Samantha Salis

Addicted. A word so incredibly overused. How many times have you heard:

-You have to try this [insert food], man. It’s so good----I’m addicted!
-You cannot stop listening to that song---you’re so addicted!
-This show is so good. We can’t stop watching it. We are definitely addicted.

We hear about addiction all of the time. Lindsey Lohan re-enters rehab for the 22nd time. Dr. Drew helps to rehabilitate a group of washouts and porn stars from various addictions. Alexandra Tobias, a 22 year old Florida resident, pleads guilty to the 2nd degree murder of her three month old. She shook her child to death when it would not stop crying because the child had been interrupting her playing the Facebook game, Farmville.

Obviously, addiction has real consequences. But how fitting is the word, addiction for the plethora of conditions it accompanies? Is the woman really addicted to a video game? I the man really just addicted to sex when he cheated multiple times---or is it a convenient way to explain his frequent visits? Is it really appropriate to use the same word for my dependence on coffee as it is for a heroin junkie’s withdrawals?

I don’t think that the English language leaves us with many options. But I wonder, in a time when technology is growing rapidly to make our lives more and more convenient, to what extent is the word addiction going to come into play? Sex, drugs, and alcohol have always been around; so with the development of new technology, how do we find a way to characterize, persay, the love of one’s iPhone?

Are we living in a world of addicts?

What do you think counts as a real addiction? Are there certain addictions that may seem more of an excuse... more convenient than others? Can we compare the complete physiological dependency on a drug to the “rush” that someone gets from winning in angry birds?

What do you think?

The "Is This Real Life?" Column, Samantha Salis:

Sam is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her insider perspective on the world around us, backed with thorough research. Enjoy!

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