Addiction Policy Forum Blog

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How nighttime device use leads to sleep disruptions and addiction vulnerability in adolescents

By Dr. Charlotte Wincott on October 29, 2019

When I was 7 or 8, I was obsessed with a videogame called Galaga. This was in the early 80’s, around the time that Olivia Newton-John released the album Physical (which was my absolute favorite). I would scrounge around the house for pennies hoping that I could find ten of them from under the sofas or behind the bookcases. If I could find ten little copper coins, I could sneak off and cross the busy street on which we lived in North Carolina. I could run quickly between cars and make my way into Providence Road Sundries, a bar that still stands in that very spot to this day. I would walk up to the bar and push my coins across the counter, sweetly asking the bartender if I could change the pennies into a dime. The bartenders knew me well and knew exactly what I really wanted. I wanted a quarter, because a quarter would get me into a make-believe world of spaceships and galaxies for at least 15 or 20 minutes. There was a Galaga machine in the back of the bar that owned my little 7-year-old heart. The bartenders would smile at me and give me that quarter plus a cherry Coke with grenadine and it made me as happy as any little girl could ever be.

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