Hospital Launches First Inpatient Program to Treat Internet Addiction
If checking your Facebook feed or posting photos to Instagram is as essential to your day as breathing, then help may be on the way.
Beginning next week, Bradford Regional Medical Center, in Bradford, PA., will make history of sorts when it launches the country’s first inpatient program to treat Internet addiction.
The program will treat adults in the same wing as patients suffering from substance abuse.
Four patients will take part in the 10-day program. Anyone who enrolls had better jump on eBay to sell some merchandise because it costs $14,000 to get in the program, since Internet addiction is not a covered medical expense, according to most insurance companies.
Those people who sign on will have Internet access taken away and talk about their experiences in a group setting while also learning how to effectively go online without it turning into a marathon session where you don't shower for so long you end up doing a Google search in how to clean yourself without having to get out of your chair.
Dr. Kimberly Young, who is spearheading the program in Bradford, says our dependence on the web is stronger than another well-documented issue, noting, "[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism. The Internet is free, legal and fat free."