U.S. Gets First Internet Addiction Center

    August 20, 2009

A new Internet addiction center has opened in Fall City, Washington, that claims it is the first of its kind in the U.S.

The center called reStart is a 45-day program costing $14,500 and is located near Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters. reStart says its program is specifically designed to help Internet and video game addicts overcome their dependence on gaming, gambling, chatting, texting and other aspects of Internet addiction.

Internet Addiction Center

The center was co-founded by Cosette Rae, MSW, and Hilarie Cash, PhD.

According to reStart, current research indicates that anywhere from 6-10 percent of the online population is dependent on the Internet. Among gamers, those playing MMOGs (like World of Warcraft) appear to be addicted at much higher levels.

reStart argues that the United States has been slow to recognize the problem of Internet addiction and its program is part of the process of drawing attention to the issue.

The mission of the program is helping people, addicted to video games and the Internet, find balance, and reconnect to the real world. The program includes individual and group therapy, life-skills coaching, cooperative living, physical and nutritional education, mindfulness training, skill building and 12-step meetings. 

The American Psychiatric Association currently does not have a listing for Internet addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The possibility of Internet addiction making it into the manual will not happen until its next update in 2012.