Not my fault, I’m an addict!
A whole new industry has crept up on society. It is the “addiction industry” where treatment centres can solve individual problems and researchers can investigate the cause through limitless research projects.
Of course, it all has to be funded either by the person who suffers or the industry that is alleged to cause the addiction.
For the gambling industry in the UK the cost is a ‘voluntary’ contribution of about GB£5 million a year to the GREaT Foundation. The foundation would like a 20% increase to GB£6 million even though there is not a commensurate increase in gambling addicts.
Unable to justify the increase with a rational argument based on the numbers of addicts a year, total number “cured” etc., the industry is asked to pay up or have a statutory levy imposed upon them.
The March edition of Time magazine ran an interesting article about addiction. Not gambling or alcohol but something more titillating and interesting – addiction to sex!
It all started when a famous Hollywood movie star claimed he was a sex addict and was admitted into a treatment clinic. He subsequently seemed to solve his own problem by marrying the world’ most beautiful woman.
Famous golfers and footballers now claim they too are suffering from sex addiction which led the some to ask whether so-called “sex addicts” are suffering from an illness or just making excuses for being unfaithful?
Whether it’ an excuse or a real medical problem, the simple fact is that a huge industry has been spawned on the back of it.
The Promises Center in Malibu, California charges US$90,000 a month for sex addiction treatment.
According to Time magazine because the desire for sex is so powerfully encoded in our DNA, the abstinence model for treating sex addiction is usually unrealistic.
Doesn’t this also apply to gambling?
Isn’t gambling a part of the human psyche where we like to evaluate problems and to take risk. Didn’t the inventors of flight, the Wright Brothers, take a gamble, with their lives? Society has benefited in many ways from people who were prepared to gamble and take a risk.
As with gambling addiction the psychiatrists have tried to determine what level of sexual activity actually determines a sex addict. They have come up with the notion that if a person indulges in sexual activity to the point where it is a distraction at work then you need treatment!
However, if you have sex twice a day with your wife that is okay! So we are coming down to a moral judgement.
In gambling, the equivalent argument also prevails – gambling with the (currently state-owned) Tote or buying a ticket for the National Lottery is OK but that gambling on other things is somehow degenerative behaviour.
Protests on addictive gambling seem to revolve around slot machines and online gambling but not horse racing or the lottery.
The difference between the addiction of gambling and other forms of addiction is that gambling takes place as part of a thought process rather than a decision to buy a product.
The obsession with addiction is not found in many other countries where the priority is simply to provide food to sustain life. Perhaps we have reached the pinnacle of a decadent society where individuals are absolved of all personal responsibility and self control by claiming that events were beyond their control.