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Friday, 21 August 2009 02:44

First U.S. Internet and gaming addiction center opens

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The ReStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program promises to help Net and videogame addicts overcome their dependence.

ReStart claims that research shows that 6 to 10% of people online are addicted.

China and South Korea have treatment programs, the center's announcement says, but the U.S. has so far lagged behind.

ReStart is a 45-day program for up to 6 participants and is held at the 5-acre Heavensfield Retreat Center, a "natural family setting" in Fall City, Washington, about 10 miles east of Redmond.

For about US$17,000, participants receive group counseling, life skills coaching, nutritional education, and "mindfulness-based stress reduction," along with outdoor adventure trips.

The goal is to help them "detach from their high-tech distractions, find balance, and reconnect to the real world."

The program is run by executive director Hilarie Cash, a psychotherapist and author of Video Games and Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control; and Cosette Dawna Rae, a social worker and personal life coach.

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