They Tried to Make Us Go to Web Surfing Rehab But We Said LOL

By Boonsri Dickinson | August 12, 2008 2:19 pm

internet-cord-1.jpgInternet addiction is really real. In March, the American Journal of Psychiatry said that Internet addition is a compulsive-impulsive disorder and thus belongs in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Good thing for newly-minted addicts that now there’s therapy for such a thing.

The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery has developed the first rehab program for Internet addicts, using the twelve-step program that’s been in place for over a decade. Treatment requires getting rid of an addict’s home computer. Unsurprisingly, Internet addicts resist this. In fact, “the person who is addicted to his or her computer is going to have the same ‘high’ as the drug addict who is about to go see their drug dealer,”said therapist Tonya Camacho.

Interestingly, Internet addicts tend to be divided by gender:

“The women who come here mostly have online shopping or chat-room addictions,” said Coleen Moore, the coordinator of resource development at the Illinois Institute. “The men we treat [suffer] from Internet gaming, gambling and pornography.”

South Korea considers Internet addiction to be one of its most serious public health issues. In 2006, about 210,000 South Koreans were declared Internet addicts, and 80 percent of them needed medication while the rest were hospitalized. About 10 million Chinese teenagers are reportedly addicted to the Internet, so in 2007, China decided to restrict computer gaming to less than 3 hours a day.

It’s no LOL matter: The Center for Internet Addiction Recovery treats a range of addictions from cybersex and cyberporn to online affairs to online gambling to compulsive surfing. We took an Internet Addiction Test, a survey given by the center, and scored 30 points, making us “an average on-line user. [We] may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but [we] have control over [our] usage.” Worried that you might need therapy? Take the test yourself.

Image: flickr/ Natalie Johnson

MORE ABOUT: internet addiction
  • murali

    yes, all mentioned informations are 100% true.

  • Asday


    Stop? Why stop? This is great!

  • oscar duron

    How is that? Women addicted to chat rooms, and Men addicted to porno?, Are all those men gays? or are they in those chat rooms with those women, or are they lesbians? So who is addicted to what?

  • Kasterborus

    Internet addiction is bad, trust me. I have friends who are addicted, but not to the level suggested in this article. I think that the onus is on the parents of children who have Internet Addition Disorder. If they cannot get their children away from a computer and the children thus end up unhealthy fat slobs, then that in my opinion constitutes Child Abuse and the parents should be punished accordingly.

    But for adults with it, well, they have to show some self control in matters such as this, but if they cannot get away from the computer thats their problem.

    Just wondering, would this be grounds for a divorce? Imagine that in a courtroom “My wife never spends ‘quality time’ with me anymore, preferring to look at photoshopped hunks on”


  • dustman

    well…yeah….i’m an internet and computer addict 😐 sad but true…

  • TheZed

    Is it just me or does an online Internet Addiciton Recovery program, that offers online support groups, a blog, and a mailing list, seem to be just feeding the addiction?

  • Anon

    Isn’t this article a contradiction in what is being published??? Don’t we need to surf the web / filter through the garbage in order to read this??? Aren’t you furthering the user’s internet addiction by simply puslishing this article???

  • Ben

    That’s the most useless test for anything i’ve ever seen. The questions are badly framed, and assume you are an internet addict before you start… Personally, i don’t play internet games, don’t use chatrooms, don’t use facecrack, don’t download porn, but my entire business is run over the internet, and i’ve had an always-on connection for 8 years.
    I ended up with 8 points, because i would find it impossible to work without the internet, and i always check my email before doing anything else- but only because my email server is in my house, and i need to reply to support emails within 2 hours. None of the other questions are relevant.

  • Root

    It’s better to be an Internet Addict that X addict where X is any bad vice.

  • Dave Coles

    I think we are getting the medium confused with the source of the addiction,(porn,shopping,games,etc). Before computers there were tabloids, Playboy,television, and Wal-Mart. Before these there were the local pubs or gossip places, casinos, strip bars. Peoples’ addictions haven’t changed, just the way in which we feed them.

  • Boonsri

    Great point Dave.

  • Leif

    Yeah, leave it to the psyches to come up with more bogus “disorders” to sell more mind destroying drugs and collect billions of dollars. It’s a beautiful racket.

  • Jack Rabbit

    I just couldn’t stop reading this article over and over again. I went to my doctor and he gave me some Xanax. But I sufed for side-effects, and I didn’t take it, so I looked at porn for a few hours, and then I went to sleep.

  • Dwayne Samuels (Jamaica)

    LOL! I hope I’m not one of the “Internet Addicts”! I spend 5 – 8 hours online, but I dont see a problem with that. It’s for greater good. 😀

  • Carsten

    Is there an online rehab progrma that can help me?

  • Daniel

    hehe if i was in china, and back 5-6 years i think i would have been among the ones hospitalized.

    Even if it was online, it got me talking to people, which helped lead into my current job (nice and well paid)
    I didn’t have internet until I was 18, and if i hadn’t of started, I can easily say I would be in a much worse position right now.

    So its not all bad and I look down on people that outright dismiss the internet as a way to socialize, its not a great one but it got me going where everything else failed.

  • Ben

    Man, I tried to hook up my computer like in the picture to get a better high, but it didn’t do anything. This article is bogus.

  • Anon

    These comments would be much easier to read if they were BLACK on the white background, instead of #545454.

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  • Alex

    Internet addict is a most worst addict compare to another addicts. Students will be change and concentrate in games.

  • Tina

    Internet is most popular among teenagers and they become addict to that and spend their lots of time on internet. Parents of such teenagers always worry about the future of their kids. And I’m not an exception. I have to use parental control software Ez Internet Timer
    It helps me control and monitor how much time my child spends on the Internet.

  • Truby

    All addictions must start first with a renewing of the mind. So many people stop their addiction temporary, but to be successful at it you need to first change your mind set and then go from there.

  • Anonymousness

    Its all relative to the size of the step steeple…If you play WOW six nights a week for four hours and your great with that and so is your wife and children. Then what of it? Its entirely subjective in 9 out of 10 people. If on the other hand you have a raging methamphetamine addiction and look at scat porn for 36 hours at a time and the wife and kids are but a memory, you may have a slight problem there. Its all bordering on a topic far too confronting subject for this site…Why do most people have any need at all to escape reality, even if for a moment? The answer is…no one gives a shit as long as we can all stick our head in the sand, myself included. YouTube here I come. Yeahaw!

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  • Marcus

    Great post you got here. It would be great to read something more about that theme.


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