INTERNET ADDICTION: Withdrawal symptoms similar to drug users' - KMSP-TV

INTERNET ADDICTION: Withdrawal symptoms similar to drug users'

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Internet addiction is a growing problem in America and a new study found that for those who spend so much time online it starts to disrupt their life, trying to quit can result in withdrawal symptoms.

The national study, conducted at Stanford University's School of Medicine, found that the symptoms some people feel after going offline are similar to those who are drug users.

Volunteers whose tests indicated they were "addicted" to the Internet reported increased negative moods after they stopped surfing, suffering a "comedown" that researchers described as not unlike the experience of those who have used the drug ecstasy.

While it is difficult to gauge how widespread the problem is, the study estimated that nearly one in eight Americans suffer from at least one sign of problematic Internet use.

Individuals who suffer from depression and anxiety-related disorders as well as social phobias are more likely to develop Internet addiction, the study found. Researchers also say children who suffer from Internet addictions are more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, experience academic and social problems, and may be at risk of physical illnesses and obesity.

FOX 9 News will speak with Dr. Joseph Lee, medical director at Hazelden Youth Continuum, about the study on FOX @ 9.

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