Original article in Korean is at this link.

One in eight of our citizens has an addiction to alcohol, gambling, the internet, or illegal drugs to a degree that interferes with daily life, a study has found.

According to statistics presented at the “Multidisciplinary Research Network Forum for a World Without Addiction” on the 11th, in our country there are 1.55 million alcoholics, 2.2 million gambling addicts, 2.33 million internet addicts, and 100,000 drug addicts, adding up to 6.18 million people.

The Forum’s head, Shin Yeong-cheol, Seoul National University professors of medicine Lee Jin-seok and Shin Min-seop, Yonsei University professor of neurology Kim Jeong-hun, and over 100 other experts from around the country attended. Forum member Lee Hae-guk said that “even excluding cases of moderate addiction, there are a minimum of six million people who have one of those four addictions.”

Societal costs due to those four addictions, including the costs of medical treatment, crime, and lost productivity, were calculated to be roughly one-third of the national budget of 300 trillion won.

Choi Sam-wook, professor of addiction studies at Eulji University, said that “our society presents an environment where alcohol is quite cheap and the economy has been poor for an extended period, so people seeking a means of escape are rapidly falling into addiction.”