A treatment center for people who have developed a cryptocurrency habit has been opened at a hospital on the Scottish borders, according to Sky News.
The West Linton facility at Castle Craig Hospital in Peebleshire, on Scotland’s most southern border with England, is planning to extend its regular operations from running treatment for drug and alcohol addiction to treating investors who have developed an addiction to trading in cryptocurrency.
Experts say the trading of digital currencies or assets such as Bitcoin can become a behavioral addiction, with users glued to coin prices, buying and selling currencies obsessively. The issues that confront gambling addicts are similar. Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, explained:
“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.”
Former gambling and cocaine addict, Tony Marini, is now a therapist at the center and will run the additional program. He argues that cryptocurrency trading at its extreme can become an adherent’s way to “escape from themselves into another world”:
“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… Having been through it myself, my experience of addiction gives me insight and empathy towards others who have the same problem.”
Castle Craig Hospital has now launched a cryptocurrency addiction FAQ page on its website answering questions for those that might be concerned about addiction to digital currencies. It explains:
“People who obsessively watch the prices of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can become addicted to the process. The price of these new digital currencies can fluctuate wildly and those who have invested in them can get hooked on watching these minute-by-minute changes as they are reported via the internet.”
The unit’s web page suggests that those who continually talk of the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and monitor news and prices constantly are in danger of their life being engulfed by their crypto habit, resulting in them spending their life savings, salaries and even stealing.
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