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`Star Trek' is an addictive enterprise

Star Trek fans are like drug addicts who suffer withdrawal symptoms if deprived of their favourite television show, a British study has shown.

One woman "Trekkie" spent her whole holiday worrying that her video recorder had not been set properly at home to catch the latest installment. Another spent $10,000 on Star Trek merchandise every year.After studying fans of the science fiction cult show for four years, psychologist Sandy Wolfson said: "My research found that about five to 10 percent of fans met the psychological criteria of addiction."

"They show withdrawal symptoms such as frustration and agitation if they miss an episode and develop higher tolerance levels, so they need increasing doses," Wolfson told the London Times.

But the news is not all bad.

"Most Trekkies have made friends and even met spouses through their love of the series, and they are intellectually challenged by the range of moral and ethical dilemmas presented in the show," Wolfson said.