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Crypto traders experience increasing substance abuse rates: A closer look at the impact on the brain

Crypto traders experience increasing substance abuse rates: A closer look at the impact on the brain

Although there is a lack of documented statistics on the relationship between cryptocurrency trading and substance abuse, addiction experts have noticed an increase in the number of crypto traders seeking treatment. Abdullah Boulard, founder and CEO at The Balance Luxury Rehab, has observed a unique demographic of crypto traders struggling with substance abuse. These individuals often turn to stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and excessive caffeine to keep up with the high intensity and 24/7 accessibility of cryptocurrency trading.

Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, has also tweeted about her use of stimulants in the context of crypto trading. Additionally, Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, has openly discussed his use of stimulants and sleeping pills while trading.

Boulard has noticed that many patients who trade cryptocurrencies also use benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan to cope with anxiety and insomnia caused by the highs and lows of trading and stimulant use. Alcohol is also commonly used for the same purpose.

Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer at American Addiction Centers, agrees that alcohol use disorder is common among those with a gambling disorder, of which cryptocurrency trading is a subtype. Some patients who have gone through Weinstein’s programs may not meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for a gambling disorder but still present with an alcohol use disorder, stimulant use disorder, or both.

Cryptocurrency trading addiction often goes hand in hand with substance abuse due to overlapping risk factors and neurobiological factors. The activation of the brain’s reward system through dopamine plays a significant role in the development of addiction. Chronic behaviors like addictive crypto trading and substance use can alter brain circuitry and cause pathological changes, affecting areas responsible for impulse control, uneasiness, irritability, and anxiety.

Successful cryptocurrency traders may have access to vast financial resources, which can exacerbate substance abuse if left untreated. The ability to acquire substances easily disincentivizes seeking help for addiction.

Treatment for cryptocurrency trading addiction and substance abuse typically involves detoxification, psychotherapy, holistic therapies like mindfulness training and yoga, and financial counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used to identify triggering situations and develop coping skills to prevent relapse. It is important to address any co-occurring mental health conditions for the best outcomes.

While it is theoretically possible to overcome addiction without formal treatment, professional help significantly improves success rates and reduces the likelihood of relapse. Returning to substance use after stopping is not uncommon and should not be seen as a sign of weakness.

In summary:

– Addiction experts have noticed an increase in crypto traders seeking treatment for substance abuse.

– Stimulant use, including amphetamines and cocaine, is common among crypto traders.

– Benzodiazepines and alcohol are also frequently used to cope with anxiety and insomnia related to trading.

– Cryptocurrency trading addiction and substance abuse often go hand in hand due to overlapping risk factors and neurobiological factors.

– Treatment involves detoxification, psychotherapy, holistic therapies, financial counseling, and addressing co-occurring mental health conditions.

– Professional help significantly improves success rates and reduces the likelihood of relapse.

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