A psychiatric hospital in central Pennsylvania has become the first in the United States to offer a treatment program for people who are addicted to the internet.
While internet addiction is not official recognized as a mental disorder, the latest edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists it as a 'condition for further study'. The treatment program offered by the Bradford Regional Medical Center in central Pennsylvania will be a voluntary 10-day inpatient program that is set to be launched from September 9.
The hospital will be accepting just four patients at a time in the program and will offer group therapy and various psychological examinations, including 'digital detox' where the patients are kept away from computers and internet connections for a period of 72 hours.
"[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism. The Internet is free, legal and fat free", Dr Kimberly Young, who helped found the non-profit program, said.