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Internet Addiction Rehab Program Launched At PA Hospital

Bradford Regional Medical Center introduces Internet Addict Rehab Program

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Internet Addiction Rehab Program Launched At PA Hospital
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Are you addicted to the internet? Do you find yourself constantly scrolling and refreshing social media websites on hours without end? Many of us lightly joke about being “addicted to the internet,” but now there is a rehabilitation program that can diagnose and help treat your online addiction. Yes, this really does exist.

On September 9th, at the Behavioral Health Services ward of Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania, a ten-day inpatient program will force four participants to live without any internet access for the next 72 hours. During this time, participants may display signs of withdrawal symptoms, and undergo group therapy sessions. Participants will also be taught how to effectively utilize the internet in ways that will allow them not to get addicted again.

Dr. Kimberly Young, founder of NetAddiction.com, as well as the program at Bradford, told Fox News the following statement:

“[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism. The Internet is free, legal and fat free.”

Young also states that “mere dependence on modern technology does not make someone an Internet addict.” The program at Bradford is intended for individuals whose lives are falling apart due to their internet obsession and cannot function without any online activity.

The Internet Addiction Program at Bradford comes with a price. Since internet addiction itself is not a recognized disorder, health insurance companies will not cover the cost of Dr. Young’s program. This program will cost $14,000 for an individual participant.

Since the news of this program has been released, various Twitter users have reacted below.

[Image source: Imagekind]

Internet Addiction Rehab Program Launched At PA Hospital
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  • http://www.virtual-addiction.co, Dr David Greenfield

    I have been writing about and treating Internet and digital media abuse and addiction since the late 1990′s; indeed it is real issue. Many of us simply (or not so simply) overuse or abuse our digital technology, but for some it is addictive and for most of us its’ easy abused– and there is ample research to demonstrate this fact. Essentially, the whole Internet operates on a Variable Ratio Reinforcement Schedule—its’ like a slot machine– each click of the mouse or buzz/beep on your Smartphone is followed by a reinforcement in the form of a tweet, email, text, something surfed for, a photo—anything. If the reinforcement that comes up is desirable then there is an increase in Dopamine–a pleasure neurotransmitter–and this further reinforces the addictive or abusive cycle. What really makes the whole thing stick, is that you cannot predict when and what you’re going to get that “hit”and its’ that unpredictability that creates an addictive reaction similar to what we see in Gambling or other addictions. There are many other factors such as ease of access, disinhibition, dissociation, low cost, perceived anonymity, and other social factors that make these technologies so compelling.
    Dr David Greenfield, The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction

  • AL

    Internet addiction and technology overload are real and growing issues. There is a great site called The Unplug Series which aims to help technology addicts, geeks and the overly wired world remember how to ‘really’ connect. I found their new study on “Taking Timeout from Technology” particularly interesting and relevant to this http://www.unplugseries.com/the-taking-timeout-from-technology-survey-2013/

  • AL

    Internet addiction and technology overload are real and growing issues. There is a great site called The Unplug Series which aims to help technology addicts, geeks and the overly wired world remember how to ‘really’ connect. I found their new study on “Taking Timeout from Technology” particularly interesting and relevant to this unplugseries.com/the-taking-timeout-from-technology-survey-2013/

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