Recently Korea noticed a slowing down of the rate of alcoholic addiction. Cigarette smoking among men has also gone from 80% to 40%. However, an article in the Seoul Diocesan Bulletin by the head of a center for alcoholics mentions how this has now moved over to women and a young peoples' problem.
Internet games, gambling, drugs and the like are now making their appearance. The writer mentions that a few years ago a middle school student came with a problem with a new herbal drug that he was taking. He couldn't forget the boy. He had the appearance of an exemplary student and asked how he got the drug. He found the drug on the internet and out of curiosity ordered it and came to the house by home delivery service.
Nowadays if a person has a mind to get drugs there's no problem in achieving one's goal. This is also true of illegal gambling as we have seen in Korean society with those in entertainment and sports. One high school student came for help who was addicted to Sports Toto (online illegal gambling). The writer was flabbergasted when he heard that half of his class participates.
According to the Korean Gambling, Problem Management Center about 30,000 young people are addicted and surmised that 120,000 are in danger of addiction. The dangers continue to increase. In 2013 a law was proposed for the management and treatment of problems associated with gambling. However, an uproar ensued because of the inclusion of internet games and the whole movement stopped. Many who came for treatment even refused to acknowledge their addiction.
Our society is so taken up with consumerism that we refuse to see the problems that follow from it. "Internet games are not addictive." Forbidding certain types of advertising is not the way to go." "Gambling is a form of industry' is what is being said.
Whether we like it or not our society is losing the happiness we should have in life. The writer is daily dealing with children who engrossed with the computer their school work suffers. Heads of families are addicted to drugs, have committed crimes, and because of gambling have incurred great debt. Women have been abandoned by their family because of addiction.
In 2014 the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs reported that over 6 million citizens have addiction problems. These problems are capable of being addressed like any sickness and we are all exposed to the dangers. The problem is not only personal but a social one. We are not to blame the addicted but to understand and show concern. We need to discuss the problem and find solutions and ways to treat those who are dealing with addiction.