EDINBURGH: A Scottish addiction clinic has begun treating people who are hooked on trading cryptocurrencies.
Traders can become addicted to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as their volatile price fluctuations can be as thrilling but potentially costly as gambling, according to therapists at Castle Craig clinic near Edinburgh.
Cryptocurrency addicts are offered treatments such as a 12-step programme, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), trauma therapy and equine therapy.
Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, said: "The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler.
"It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It's a classic bubble situation," he said.
Castle Craig has treated over 10,000 patients for various addictions since it opened in 1988, and says the majority have gone on to achieve long-term abstinent recovery.
Prices start from £1,360 (US$2,400) per week for an extended treatment programme, and detox and intensive care starts from £2,975 per week.
A single en-suite bedroom in Castle Craig's intensive treatment programme costs £4,970 per week, and the cost of its "executive programme" starts at £9,240 per week.
A minimum commitment of two weeks' treatment is required of all patients.
Patients or families who struggle to afford residential rehabilitation are offered advice on alternative and more affordable treatment options, and potentially external funding from Scotland's National Health Service.