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First Video Game Addict Rehab Center Opens

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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 10:15 AM
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First Video Game Addict Rehab Center Opens

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Know someone addicted to video games? Here's a chance to execute a real intervention for them.

Almost anyone with a teenager may think they know this already. The head of a new Dutch detox center said video games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs -- and just as hard to kick.

An addiction center in the Netherlands is opening what's being called Europe's first detox clinic for game addicts.

Keith Bakker is opening the rehab center, Smith & Jones Addiction Consultancy, that offers in-house treatment for gamers who just can't leave the controller alone.

Bakker said he's already treated 20 people from 13 to 30 since January. And he said they suffer the traditional withdrawal symptoms from drugs or booze -- like the shakes and the sweats -- when they look at a computer.

"We knew about drugs like crack, but we couldn't find a program anywhere for kids like this," Bakker told the British Broadcasting Corp. "And we saw enormous parallels between problems with gaming and alcohol and gambling."

"There can be anxiety, panic attacks, sleep problems, dreaming about games, nightmares, shaking," said Bakker.
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