Friday, July 25, 2008

An "Opioid Hit" From Your BlackBerry?

We in the addictions field like to say everyone is addicted to something, whether it be illegal drugs, alcohol, food, or caffeine. What about information? This article says that exposure to new and interesting information releases opioids in the brain, just as heroin does. We are biologically wired to seek out stimulating knowledge, news, or gossip because it gives us an “opioid hit.” But can this craving for information become harmful when done to excess, like compulsively checking your BlackBerry?

I am not a BlackBerry user myself, but I do have a habit of interrupting whatever I’m working on to open a new email. Even if I’m in the middle of something important, as soon as that email notification pops up, I need to find out what it is. Because you never know, it might be more something important than what I’m doing! Usually, it isn’t. But now I know why I do this. Darn you, opioids!

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