First US Hospital Program to Treat Internet Addiction Opens
September 6th, 2013
According to an ABC News article published Wednesday, the United States’ first Internet addiction treatment center operated out of a hospital will be opening next week. For $14,000, Internet addicts can get their online dependency treated at the Behavioral Health Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania. While the psychiatric community does not recognize Internet addiction as an actual mental health disorder, Kimberly Young, a psychologist and founder of the program, compares it to “any other addiction.”
“We look at whether it has jeopardized their career, whether they lie about their usage or whether it interferes with relationships,” Young told ABC News.
Similar to other addiction rehab, the Bradford program offers a voluntary 10-day inpatient treatment program for severe Internet addiction. This program includes a 72-hour “digital detox,” therapy sessions and educational seminars with the goal to give patients the ability to get back online but in a healthy way.
Young reveals that the majority of people considered as Internet addicts are young, intelligent male gamers.
“They go online because they can become someone else and be admired for their skills,” she said.
Although the Bradford program is the only hospital-based option for Internet addiction, there are many other programs across the US specifically for those glued to the screen. One of which comes at no surprise: reSTART in Microsoft and Amazon’s hometown of Seattle.