An addiction center is opening Europe’s first detox clinic for game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can’t leave their joysticks alone.
Video games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs _ and just as hard to kick, says Keith Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants.
Bakker already has treated 20 video game addicts, aged 13 to 30, since January. Some show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, when they look at a computer.
His detox program begins in July. It will run four to eight weeks, including discussions with therapists and efforts to build patients’ interests in alternative activities.