reStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program is on five acres in rural Washington and just got its first live-in patient, a 19-year-old WoW addict.
"We are not anti-technology," reStart psychotherapist Hilarie Cash told AFP. "It is about helping people addicted to technology get through the withdrawal and help their brains get wired back to normal and connected to the world in a positive way."This wouldn't be the world's first rehab for those addicted to the Internet.
That distinction appears to belong to China, where things are a bit more hardcore, it seems. Whereas the teen in Washington is bottle-feeding baby goats, the teens in China's Internet addiction boot camp sometimes suffer "physical punishment," one camp's founder told the BBC. That camp has since been closed and the owner arrested. He admitted that children at the camp are sometimes beaten after a 14-year-old boy suffered serious injuries. And earlier this month, a 15-year-old was beaten to death at another, similar boot camp.
reStart just cuts the addicts off from all technology during their time in the program and aims to teach them how to interact with people again. Many Internet addicts are lacking in social skills, its founders said:
The reStart rehab program includes teaching skills such as starting conversations and reading body language.
Videogame addicts typically need to be reprogrammed to be conscientious about everyday tasks such as bathing, cooking, and household chores, according to reStart. They also need tutoring when it comes to dating.
The program has beds for six patients and a 45-day stay costs
dollars plus incidentals. There's also an outpatient program for 18- to
28-year-olds, specifically those who have basically spent most of their
time online looking at porn. Many of them have had little or no
exposure to sex in real life.