Chronic and excessive activation of certain pathways within the reward system and the accumulation of ΔFos B in a specific group of neurons within the nucleus accumbens has been directly implicated in the development of the compulsive behavior that characterizes addiction.

In humans, a dopamine dysregulation syndrome, characterized by drug-induced compulsive engagement in sexual activity or gambling, has also been observed in some individuals taking dopaminergic medications.

If you make sure you do it right it can be well worth your time but.

"Research suggests gambling elevates dopamine," Young says, and gaming is in the same category.

But there's more to addiction than brain chemistry. There's a psychological component to the addiction, knowing 'I can escape or feel good about my life.'" Bakker agrees.

Maybe you love the idea of online dating due to the convenience in your busy schedule, as well as the global outreach in meeting many different people.

However, are you a little uncomfortable with the idea of Internet dating due to your safety?

Number of hardcore pornography titles released in 2005 (U. Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women (Internet Filter Review).

More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (com Score Media Metrix).

More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).

Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children (National Center for Mission & Exploited Children). As of December 2005, child pornography was a billion annual industry (Internet Filter Review).

The total porn industry revenue for 2006: .3 billion in the United States; billion worldwide (Internet Filter Review). Hotel viewership for adult films: 55% (cbsnews.com).

Unique worldwide users visiting adult web sites monthly: 72 million (Internet Filter Review).

Henrietta Bowden Jones, consultant psychiatrist at Imperial College, London, who runs Britain's only NHS clinic for internet addicts and problem gamblers, said: "The majority of people we see with serious internet addiction are gamers – people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations.