Is indoor Tanning Addictive?
A research study conducted in New York has shown that indoor tanning may be addictive for some young adults, and people who are hooked on tanning beds may also be prone to anxiety and substance abuse problem.
In this study 421 college students from the northeastern United States were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding indoor tanning habits, substance use, anxiety and depression symptoms, and demographics. They were assessed using standardized measures of anxiety, depression and substance use.
The results of this study were quite shocking. Around 30.6 percent of the students met mCAGE (modified versions of the Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener) criteria for addiction to indoor tanning. The students reported a mean of 23 indoor tanning sessions in the past year. Those who met criteria for addiction to tanning reported tanning more often than those with addictive tendencies, and both groups reported more tanning than those who did not meet criteria for addiction to indoor tanning.
In general, indoor tanning addicts tanned more frequently than their non-addicted counterparts. The college students who were addicted to indoor tanning were also suffering from anxiety problems and were using alcohol/marijuana more than their peers who weren’t addicted to indoor tanning.
The researchers say that if the connection between anxiety, substance abuse, and indoor tanning addiction is affirmed by future research studies then treating an underlying mood disorder would be an essential step towards reducing skin cancer risk among those who are addicted to indoor tanning.