Drug or alcohol use produces a euphoria which can bring about the desire to continue use.  A recent study by Europol, which is the European law enforcement agency, shows that there is a connection between the euphoria produced by addiction and a similar one connected with the hacking of computers.  There are also other threads of commonalities that link the two in different ways.

Another similarity between hacking and drug addiction is that the earlier one begins doing these things, the more likely they are to develop problems with them.  According to an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier a person begins to use drugs, the more likely he or she is to develop serious problems.”  It appears that a similar condition arises with hacking, in which younger kids who begin to participate in hacking are more likely to develop serious problems later on.

As stated earlier, they both produce a type of euphoria that is pleasurable.  Obviously, hacking cannot lead to a physical dependence like drugs or alcohol can bring about.  But the commonality is that activities like using drugs, gambling or hacking can lead to the release of dopamine transmitters within the brain, which is like a reward of pleasure.   Meaning, the pleasure-seeking that goes along with drugs can arise in other activities like gambling and hacking.

What Makes Hacking Appealing to Younger Crowds

The thrill-seeking of hacking can make it become an addictive activity to some.  A person could begin to strive to hack more difficult systems as they continue, which is similar to the way some drug users will seek more powerful drugs for the effects.  So, a person’s early hacking activities may start out as simply something to do, or for a prank, but as they begin to escalate their abilities, they can become addicted to the activity.  There are several factors that can make these activities appealing to younger crowds.  As reported by the BBC in regard to the study, “The study suggests a large part of the problem is that many youngsters see the internet as a place that is not watched over by guardians.  It says they then encourage each other to carry out more serious acts, helping “normalize” bad behavior.”

The progression of this type of activity is what worries Europol.  Teens who begin to engage in harmless hacking may end up committing cyber crimes.  While cyber crime related hacking is illegal within our nation, there have been certain groups and collectives that have been glorified in a way.  For instance, the group Anonymous, who have stated they were behind certain hacking attacks upon varying organizations or sites.  Then, there is also the recent DNC hacking, in which emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, were released by WikiLeaks.  There were a multitude of people who were celebrating and encouraging the releasing of Podesta’s hacked information, because of it apparently exposing Clinton.  This glorification of hacking attacks and groups could begin to create teens who further involve themselves in these activities.

When Seeking Help with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Drug or alcohol addiction can be an extremely difficult condition to attempt to overcome alone, but fortunately, there is help out there.  Treatment facilities can help you to work through the underlying issues and difficulties of addiction, which helps it to be resolved as a whole.  Finding the right treatment center can be difficult sometimes, simply due to the large amount of them across the nation.  We are here to help you find the right fit in a treatment center for you or your loved one.  Do not wait, give us a call today.

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