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Trekkies `hooked like drug addicts'.

Star Trek fans are as addicted to the cult sci-fi series as junkies are to drugs, it was claimed yesterday.

A doc who has spent four years quizzing Trekkies says they show similar symptoms to drug addicts.

But she claims Star Trek devotees are not anoraks and wants her findings to kill off their nerdy reputation.

Dr Sandy Wolfson said: "About five to 10 per cent of fans meet the psychological criteria of addiction - withdrawal symptoms such as agitation and frustration if they miss an episode."

One woman was unable to relax on holiday in case she had not set her video properly to tape the show and another fan spent pounds 6000 on Star Trek merchandise.

But unlike junkies, Trekkie fans benefit from addiction.

Dr Wolfson, who lectures at Northumbria University, said: "Most Trekkies have made friends and even met spouses through their love of the series. They are intellectually challenged by the moral and ethical dilemmas in the show."

Unlike other cult shows like soap operas, Star Trek holds back from providing all the answers, provoking thought on issues like racism, she said.

Dr Wolfson now believes that Trekkies have been wrongly labelled "anoraks".

She said: "They are normally lively, happy, well-adjusted, family-type people, not deranged nerds.

"One lawyer said Captain Jean-Luc Picard's dedication inspired her in her career."
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Frew, Callum
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 13, 1997
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