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Internet Addiction Center Opens In ­.s.

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ReStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program

Client Ben Alexander, left, works with Gary Simmons to construct a chin up bar during work therapy at the ReSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program, the first residential treatment program of its kind in the United States.

Credit: The Associated Press

Ben Alexander spent nearly every waking minute playing the video game "World of Warcraft." As a result, he flunked out of the University of Iowa.Alexander, 19, needed help to break an addiction he calls as destructive as alcohol or drugs. He found it in this suburb of high-tech Seattle, where what claims to be the first residential treatment center for Internet addiction in the United States just opened its doors.

The center, called ReSTART, opened in July and for $14,000 offers a 45-day program intended to help people wean themselves from pathological computer use, which can include obsessive use of video games, texting, Facebook, eBay, Twitter and any other time-killers brought courtesy of technology. There are many such treatment centers in China, South Korea and Taiwan, and many psychiatric experts say it is clear that Internet addiction is real and harmful.

From The Associated Press
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