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Thread: Now If You'll Excuse Me, I Need To Enter Rehab

  1. #1
    PhilosophyGenius Guest

    Now If You'll Excuse Me, I Need To Enter Rehab

    China opens internet addicts' shelter

    Jonathan Watts in Beijing
    Thursday August 24, 2006
    The Guardian

    Shanghai has opened mainland China's first shelter for internet addicts to help them bridge the gap between virtual worlds and dysfunctional family homes.

    The inauguration of the centre highlights growing government concerns about the explosive growth of the web in China, where one in eight young net users are reportedly addicted.

    According to local media, the Shanghai Sunshine Community Youth Affairs Centre, which opened yesterday, offers one-night stays to youths who would otherwise spend all their time in internet cafes rather than going home.

    It can provide free accommodation and counselling for up to four minors at a time. Visitors can read books, play table tennis, tinkle on the piano or use computers.

    The aim of the halfway house is not to prevent young people going online but to provide an alternative to gloomy cafes and an opportunity for visitors to discuss the reasons why they spend so much time in a virtual world.

    "None of the teenagers are forced to come here," Wang Hui, the chief social worker at the house told the Shanghai Daily. "We wander around in internet bars at night and bring them to the halfway house if the teen agrees." The paper said the first three boys at the house were all from one-parent families.

    The shelter is the latest attempt by the authorities to come to grips with the social problems associated with excessive internet use. According to a survey by the China Youth Association for Network Development, 13% of young people with access to the web are online for more than 38 hours a week - an international health professionals' agreed definition for so-called internet addiction disorder.

    A separate study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences blamed internet addiction for 80% of the cases in which students failed to graduate.

    Online obsessions, particularly among players of role-playing games, have also been blamed for sleep disorders, depression, ill health and several deaths.

    Considering China's online population is forecast to pass 160 million this year, the scale of the problem may be overstated. But the authorities have responded with an increasing sense of urgency.

    Last year, China's first clinic offering treatment for internet addiction opened at a Beijing military hospital. The China youth league - a body of the Communist party - launched a nationwide "For the sake of the future" campaign against internet addiction. The problems were also publicised through a recent TV drama series, The Story of Shan Dianmao.

    But the main focus, linked to a censorship campaign, has been a tightening of controls on internet cafes, which Xinhua, the state news agency, described as "hotbeds of juvenile crime and depravity". But the business is so lucrative that new regulations often go unenforced.

    Psychologists question whether the Shanghai shelter will have any more success in tackling virtual escapism.

    "I don't think this centre will help at all. It simply highlights a trend among parents to send children to doctors or counsellors whenever they encounter problems instead of talking it through together," said Song Hao, director of adolescent psychology at Beijing Giant School. "The main reason for internet dependence is a lack of love and care inside a family. Parents and teachers only judge children by their test scores."


  2. #2
    HippyZip Guest
    I think we should open one of these facilities in the US for those addicted to believing the lies our government tells us, to help bridge the gap between the real world and dysfunctional thinking.

  3. #3
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Hi Zip.

  4. #4
    thumper Guest
    rehab is for quitters

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