Here are some scary facts and figures about internet use. Statistics indicate a rising and nearly epidemic trend of compulsive (“addictive”) internet use, referring to users that cannot control the amount of time they spend online.
Internet addiction is not yet a diagnosable term, but is in consideration for the upcoming version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a reference book that master’s level therapists, psychologists, and physicians use to diagnose mental illness. In Utah substance abuse treatment, it is not uncommon to have individuals who seek treatment for both drug addiction and internet addiction.
The proposed criteria for internet addiction would include, among other things, 6 hours a day of non-essential internet use and symptoms that have been occurring for at least 3 months. This would classify only the most serious cases, excluding people who use the internet for 5 hours a day or less of surfing, chatting, and gaming.
Every day, 9-15 million people in the United States use the internet. Every three months, the amount of use goes up by 25%. Greece identifies that 8.2% of their population is addicted to the internet. They indicate that most of these are male video gamers and users of internet cafés.
11% of South Korean school-aged youth are considered at high risk for internet addiction. In China, 96% of teenagers use instant messaging and 10% of teenagers can be classified as addicts, specifically to instant messaging.
Also in China, elementary and middle school aged children have been shown to have a serious problem as well. A recent study indicated that 10% of boys and 4% of girls are addicted to the internet.
Another study showed that 41% of online gamers identify themselves as using video games to escape. Another 7% are considered at high risk of developing psychological and behavioral dependence on online video gaming.
While only 1% of Norwegians can be considered to be addicted to the internet, another 5% are at high risk for becoming so. 4% of the 16-29 year olds are addicted with another 19% at risk. And in South Africa, 4% of technology workers and 2% of non-IT workers exhibit “problematic internet use.”
While the statistics go on and on, one may ask, “Well, so what? What’s the big deal?” Studies indicate that the more involvement in non-work related internet use a person has, the higher the risk of social problems, self-esteem issues, and other significant problems. In addition, among adolescents, those who play more than an hour of video games per day, whether on a console or online, will have much greater risk for ADHD and more intense symptoms of ADHD than those who do not.
For more information contact a Utah Drug Rehab center near you. Utah Drug Rehab centers are great at answering questions and helping those who might be struggling with any form of drug abuse.
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