The Rise of the Internet-Addiction Industry

Treatment centers are opening across the U.S., but mental-health experts still disagree on whether excessive time on the web qualifies as a disorder.Recovery starts with detox and support groups. Or with workers in hazmat suits sealing away your electronic devices in containers marked “biohazard.” Or with a trip to a remote stretch of desert, where you’ll learn the skills needed to survive in the wild.Welcome to the world of Internet-addiction treatment. Amid a tidal wave of fear that technology is taking over our lives, institutions promising to treat the problem of too much time spent online are cropping up across the country. Treatment caters to adolescents and adults, and ranges from the clinical to the unconventional: There are overnight hospital stays, digital-detox retreats, wilderness-therapy camps, and psychiatrists who prescribe medication and talk therapy.

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