The Ministry of Health in China has decided to abandon the practice of administering electro-shock therapy as a treatment for Internet addiction. The announcement said there were concerns over the safety and effectiveness of the system.
This declaration came after the practice was criticized in local media. "Electroshock therapy for Internet addiction...has no foundation in clinical research or evidence and therefore is not appropriate for clinical application," said a notice posted on the ministry website www.moh.gov.cn.
Over the last year, China has been battling high levels of Internet addiction as youngsters take to the web to escape from parental expectations. At the Internet Addiction Treatment Center at Linyi Mental Hospital, psychotropic drugs as well as electro-shocks were given to afflicted patients.
The China Youth Daily said the treatment cost 5,500 yuan ($805) on a monthly basis. The paper also said that many patients were forcibly sent to the clinic to avail the treatment, which was developed by Doctor Yang Yongxin, called as "Uncle Yang."