Video Game Addiction No Fun

At an addiction treatment center in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, teenagers and young adults begin detox by admitting they are powerless over their addiction. But these addicts aren't hooked on drugs or alcohol. They are going cold turkey to break their dependence on video games.


Keith Bakker, director of Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants, tells WebMD he created the new program in response to a growing problem among young men and boys. "The more we looked at it, the more we saw [gaming] was taking over the lives of kids."


Detox for video game addiction may sound like a stretch, but addiction experts say the concept makes sense. "I was surprised we didn't think of it here in America," says Kimberly Young, PsyD, clinical director of the Center for On-Line Addiction and author of Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction -- and a Winning Strategy for Recovery. "I've had so many parents call me over the last year or two, particularly about the role-playing games online. I see it getting worse as the opportunity to game grows - for example, cell phone gaming."


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