In the United States, steps are being taken to deal with the growing problem of Internet addiction, which is having an impact on health, wellbeing and relationships.
One centre that deals with the problem of Internet addiction is called reSTART. Located in Washington State, the organisation runs residential programmes for people – mostly young men – who are battling to escape the seductions of the virtual world. A structured routine exists at the centre, with time for exercise, recreational activities, group therapy and learning life skills like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.
Participants in the programme live together in a house and can stay for several months. Already, over 200 people have attended these programmes and the team has received more than 10,000 telephone queries about its work. As a result of the growing demand, reSTART has launched a scheme for young people aged 13–18 at a new campus called Serenity Mountain.