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Posts tagged addiction

Nate:

Smokers who crushed computer-simulated cigarettes as part of a psychosocial treatment program in a virtual reality environment had significantly reduced nicotine dependence and higher rates of tobacco abstinence than smokers participating in the same program who grasped a computer-simulated ball, according to a study described in the current issue of CyberPsychology and Behavior.

Nate:

Problem drinking in Western societies contributes to disease and death as well as social and economic woes.  Yet only a small number of people with alcohol problems – 10 to 20 percent – ever seek and participate in treatment.  This study examined the real-world effectiveness of a 24/7 free-access, anonymous, interactive, and Web-based self-help intervention called Drinking Less (DL) at http://www.minderdrinken.nl.  Findings show that DL can help problem drinkers in the privacy of their own homes.

Nate:
from "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," by Jonathan Gruber and Daniel Hungerman, Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2008 :: via The .Plan

In this paper we identify a policy-driven change in the opportunity cost of religious participation based on state laws that prohibit retail activity on Sunday, known as “blue laws.” Many states have repealed these laws in recent years, raising the opportunity cost of religious participation… We then use a variety of datasets to show that when a state repeals its blue laws religious attendance falls, and that church donations and spending fall as well… We find that repealing blue laws leads to an increase in drinking and drug use, and that this increase is found only among the initially religious individuals who were affected by the blue laws. The effect is economically significant; for example, the gap in heavy drinking between religious and non religious individuals falls by about half after the laws are repealed.