China Launches Campaign For Net Addicts
| by Priyanka Pradhan |
The Chinese government has reportedly launched a nationwide campaign to treat "Internet addiction" by giving mild electric shock treatment to 'internet addicts'. The campaign was prompted by an unspecified survey that revealed that nearly 14 percent of teens in China are vulnerable to becoming addicted to the Internet. The Communist Youth League called it 'a grave social problem' that threatens the youth of China. The country has now opened internet addiction clinics throughout China.
MSNBC reports that a particular clinic in Daxing, a suburb of Beijing, is the oldest and largest clinic, has recently seen as many as 280 patients, few of which are in the age group of 12 to 24, for treatment of internet addiction. Most have these addicts have been forced to come, by their parents who are paying upward of $1,300 a month for the treatment. Led by Tao Ran, a military researcher who treats heroin addicts, the clinic uses counseling, military discipline, drugs, hypnosis and mild electric shocks to treat these young 'addicts'. According to the Internet-addiction campaign, the government will help fund eight in-patient rehabilitation clinics across the country.
Tao said the clinic is based on the idea that there are many similarities between his current patients and those he had in the past. He said that the withdrawal symptoms of an internet addict is similar to that of a drug addict.
There's a global controversy and speculation, over heavy Internet use and the definition and cure of internet addicts. Some psychologists say that net addiction can be crippling, leading people to neglect work, school and social lives and should be treated like other drug addicts because the symptoms and effects are similar.
The Chinese government in recent months has joined South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam in taking measures to try to limit the time teens spend online. It has also passed regulations banning youths from Internet cafes and has implemented control programs that restrict the time for teens on networked games to five hours.
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