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First American Internet Addiction Treatment Center 278

Posted by timothy
from the cure-for-what-doesn't-quite-ail-ye dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Taking their lead from China, two Americans have opened the first US-based Internet Addiction treatment center in Fall City, Wash. — ironically close to Redmond (Microsoft's hometown). The center, called reStart: Internet Addiction Recovery Program, is a 45-day treatment center where, for a steep set of fees, people can be cured of their addiction to the Web. After paying the $200 application fee, addicts are charged $14,500 for the 45 days, an additional $800 for a screening, and more for extra services, like kayaking ($1,575)."
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First American Internet Addiction Treatment Center

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  • reStart? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Flea of Pain (1577213)
    Shouldn't they have called it reboot? Just sayin'...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      No, reboot comes before restart. Reboot's when you kick yourself in the ass for being stupid, before you actually do something about it.

    • "Shouldn't they have called it reboot? Just sayin'..."

      No. Rebooting is what heroin addicts do when they relapse. Before recovery they boot their drugs, then they stop until one day when they re-boot ;-) [The term "boot" is slang for the act of injecting drugs, esp. heroin]

    • Irony...or am I the only one who finds it ironic that an internet addiction centre has a web site?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2009 @06:00PM (#29139967)

        Naw, irony would be if they offered classes online.

      • by Korin43 (881732)
        It actually makes perfect sense. If your customers are internet addicts, put your advertising on the internet. Of course, that ignores whether it's "internet addicts" or their families that are actually going to want this..
  • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:23PM (#29137221)
    No wonder they cure Internet addiction, after paying 15 grand, you couldn't even afford dial up.
    • by Verdatum (1257828)
      Most of the money goes to the girlfriend they set the guys up with. Say what you will, but it has a high rate of efficacy. The addicts that already have girlfriends, or are girls themselves are the tough cases.
  • money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:27PM (#29137289) Journal

    it very well sounds like the goal here isn't so much to actually "treat" people so much as to make large sums of money by catering to those of us who have access to lots of cash.

    • And there you've summed up just about all businesses in the USA.
    • Yeah, and? That's capitalism yo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by EggyToast (858951)
      Seems like it would be a lot cheaper to simply go 45 days with no internet access.
      • by Zerth (26112)

        Hell, it'd be cheaper to go on a month long cruise. Although, I hear they have the internet now...

      • by blhack (921171)

        You could even write a blog about it and *MAKE* money.

        And by "write a blog" I, of course, mean type it out on a typewritter and mail it to somebody to have them scan it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pluther (647209)

      Concerned Parents would be the target market here, I'm guessing.

      And why are they Concerned? Because they read all the marketing literature about the horrible fate awaiting their precious little snowflakes if they spend too much time on WoW.

      • Re:money (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Golias (176380) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:53PM (#29137813)

        I think it needs to be made more clear to the older generation that, no matter how much they don't like it, the fact is that the day is rapidly approaching when the person who doesn't spend *enough* time on the Internet will be the socially dysfunctional one.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          It will be worse than that. We will soon spend a lot of our time "connected" in some way. We already reached the point where we are always, everywhere readily reachable, something that was anything but normal a little over a decade ago. Today you're seen as some sort of weirdo if you don't have a cell and thus can't be reached everywhere, including tub and can.

          When I look at some of the kids I'm working with, I see a trend towards an urge to be "omnipresent", at least virtually. They want to be in touch wit

    • Comparing to many other medical costs in this country, this is actually pretty affordable. Next step, make it an official psychologic disease and make it coverable by insurance.
    • You mean money from the government that provides "free" public health care? Oh ya! Your tax dollars soon-to-be at work...

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:27PM (#29137297)
    People will now have to pay monthly fee for not being connected to the Internet as well?
  • SWEET! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:28PM (#29137307) Journal

    Can I sign up online?

  • Brilliant! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:29PM (#29137337)

    I must give a nod to this highly creative solution to net addiction: charge the victim so much money they can afford neither a computer nor a net connection! The elegance of the solution is awe-inspiring.

    • Obviously you are being somewhat facetious... but here is my question: why is it these "clinics" and "addiction help" things never make you do something constructive in your time? Kayaking is fun. Of course it's fun to not be on the internet to kayak. But why not, say ... work on something? Maybe ... chop wood? I don't know, I'm sure one could creatively come up with something productive to do instead of basically paying for a vacation without internet.

      Plus, if it was productive, it would subsidize the

      • The idea of these kinds of clinics is that people need to "get their highs" from other things in life. It's not just about taking them away from their addiction, its showing them all the stuff they could be doing with their time, showing them the other pieces that life has to offer.

        If you put addicts in an area where they have to work, they're just going to get worn down, get angry, and want to resort to their habit to make them feel better.

        Lets face it, if I were addicted to the internet, making me chop do

    • These guys put Comcast etc. to shame. They have managed to both raise the price AND lower the bandwidth to 0kbps, and people are voluntarily switching! And they are even net neutral by not discriminating based on the source; they block everything...
  • So, do they have a website? Myspace page? Twitter page? Facebook page? Youtube channel?

    • Re:Website? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:38PM (#29137529)

      So, do they have a website?

      Of course. http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/ [netaddictionrecovery.com]

      Myspace page?

      Don't be silly.

      Twitter page?

      Yep. http://twitter.com/GetYourLifeBack [twitter.com]

      Facebook page?

      Yep. http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/social-network/facebook.html [netaddictionrecovery.com]

      Youtube channel?

      They're probably still working on it...

      • Re:Website? (Score:5, Funny)

        by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:47PM (#29137713) Journal
        Oh man, I found this HILARIOUS:

        I had for a very extended period of time an addiction to an online game. I was very antisocial and i basically lived to play. Talking to Cosette helped me learn how to look at my addiction from another perspective. She got me to try to stop and i did. Now I am a much happier person and I have made an incredible amount of progress in my life. I have so many more friends, and I find that things come more easily to me, and I find joy in more things. Putting my life into one thing was horrible for me and now I have learned to apply myself, and I have broken my addiction. Thanks alot --Conner

        Guide to the perfect testimonial:

        Step 1: Use generalized words when talking about time. For example, instead of saying "for two years," use the term "very extended period of time."
        Step 2: Mention that you now have a new perspective due to talking with --insert name here--. Don't go into detail about what your perspective is now or what it was then.
        Step 3: Instead of detailing what steps you took to stop, just say - "she got me to try to stop and i did."
        Step 4: Claim that you are happier
        Step 5: Claim you now have bajillions of friends!
        Step 6: ?????
        Step 7: Profit!

      • I heard they couldn't get the YouTube videos to appear on the top of their MySpace page, because it contained a link to a 4chan wiki.

      • by orkybash (1013349)
        Funny to think about at first, but not actually that weird. This is probably the best way to reach out to everyone who they think needs help...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      Probably the attendants will keep everyone informed about their progress on Twitter, and afterwards blog about their success, and maybe even put some videos on YouTube about how they are no longer internet addicts.

  • by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:29PM (#29137343) Journal
    They didn't talk about the qualifications of the people who run this place, only that they are:

    Two friends -- Cosette Rae, a clinical social worker, and author Hilarie Cash

    Now, these people could be people devastated by personal loss due to too much World of Warcraft by a loved one... or they could be two people who are fearmongerers desperately trying to leech cash out of rich Microsoft yuppie parents who can't figure out how to pull the plug on their kid's computerboxstation360.

    All I'm saying is the article doesn't mention anything about them, and given the lack of PhD or even MD behind the names... I'll say nothing to see here, move along.

    • What are you talking about? Where did you get the idea you need a medical Degree to open a clinic?

    • by Golias (176380)

      They didn't talk about the qualifications of the people who run this place, only that they are:

      Two friends -- Cosette Rae, a clinical social worker, and author Hilarie Cash

      Now, these people could be people devastated by personal loss due to too much World of Warcraft by a loved one... or they could be two people who are fearmongerers desperately trying to leech cash out of rich Microsoft yuppie parents who can't figure out how to pull the plug on their kid's computerboxstation360.

      All I'm saying is the article doesn't mention anything about them, and given the lack of PhD or even MD behind the names... I'll say nothing to see here, move along.

      Are you perhaps referencing that crackpot lady who started a WoW rehab clinic (based loosely on a book she read about 12-step programs) after her clinically-depressed kid who played a lot of WoW tragically took his own life?

      If so, it seems that her biggest mistake in doing so wasn't the misdirected rage at her "patients", nor the self-righteous religious mumbo-jumbo, but rather that she didn't charge high enough prices to get people's attention and evoke a sense of legitimacy.

      As with many new ventures, it c

  • Kayaking? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:30PM (#29137355)
    I'm surprised it's not just a room full of prostitutes and an all you can eat plan for a week.
  • What a rip off... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zakabog (603757) <`moc.guamj' `ta' `nhoj'> on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:32PM (#29137407)
    So basically you're paying $15,000 for summer camp? I mean, there wouldn't be much that they do there that would help any more than just spending a month and a half outdoors with a large group of people away from computers. You're simply showing the people that there's more to do out there while helping them build real world social skills by keeping them in a group. The $15,000 is way excessive, and if you've got that kind of money lying around I can't imagine your internet addiction being that much of a problem.
    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      Well for one, the summer camp won't beat your kid to death for not running fast enough.

  • Odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:37PM (#29137521) Homepage Journal

    It's odd how they've conveniently changed the meaning of "addiction". The definition used to be that for something to be addictive, it had to have physical withdrawal symptoms, like alcohol, caffiene, niccotine, heroin, etc. What used to be separately termed "habituation" is now termed "addiction".

    However, as I learned when quitting cigarettes, the habituation can be as bad as the addiction. Two years after I stopped, and didn't even WANT a cigarette, I still slapped the shirt pocket that used to hold the cigarettes when I left work. Do anything for thirty years and you'll miss it, even if "it" is being hit on the head with a stick.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      I also think it is odd how low the bar seems to be for categorizing non-destructive actions as "addictive". Using the Internet is not a harmful activity. You can surf the net plenty, and suffer no ill effects in terms of health, family, job, etc. While you certainly can go overboard and start doing it at the exclusion of everything else in your life, well you can do that for ANYTHING in your life. However the activity isn't harmful in and of itself, even in large amounts (unlike, say, drinking alcohol which

      • by Rakishi (759894)

        While you certainly can go overboard and start doing it at the exclusion of everything else in your life, well you can do that for ANYTHING in your life.

        Your point being? Lots of people do go overboard, some to the extent of actually dying from their disregard of even basic bodily needs. There's programs right now for people who are addicted to sex and probably dozens of other things. Gaming and the internet are no different.

        Going online isn't a problem. Spending 18 hours a day online is a problem and that is labeled as addiction.

  • They should force them to play mind-bendingly awful games, a few days of "Sunday Funday" ought to set them straight. That or the popular "beat you to death" therapy I've heard so much about.

  • by Wireless Joe (604314) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:42PM (#29137591) Homepage
    it's called my back yard. The director? My wife. Both are very effective.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:43PM (#29137619)
    "There's a sucker born every minute."

    Sorry, but anyone who pays over $15k to "cure" themselves of addiction to the internet is an idiot. I can cure it for you faster, easier, and cheaper - in fact, you'll MAKE money.

    Cancel.

    Your.

    Internet.

    There. I saved you over $15k.

    Sorry for the lack of sympathy but there are people out there with real addictions who need help. "Internet addiction" is a complete joke.

    And, for anyone who is about to point out people who have an obsessive need to be online, don't confuse OCD behaviour with addiction. The two are different. One may lead to the other but they are not the same. People aren't addicted to the internet. Sorry.
    • by pluther (647209)

      I doubt anyone's going to be "curing" themselves at this place.

      My guess is it will be mostly teenagers whose easily impressed parents have been frightened by the marketing literature.

      I think there was a Batman Beyond episode about this place...

    • by Joe Snipe (224958)

      Sorry, but anyone who pays over $15k to "cure" themselves of addiction to the internet is an idiot.

      True

      Sorry for the lack of sympathy but there are people out there with real addictions who need help.

      So you cant afford more sympathy because other people need help? Are you helping those other people or just feling sorry for them?

      "Internet addiction" is a complete joke.

      And you base that opinion on what exactly? Your graphic design experience?

      And, for anyone who is about to point out people who have an obsessive need to be online, don't confuse OCD behaviour with addiction

      I really dont get this one. OCD's are addictions by nature. Are you saying it's not addiction because it's not chemical? There are many studies that show chemical changes in the brains reward system while using the internet. Anorexic disorders are treated as addictive behaviors and there is plenty

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:45PM (#29137683) Journal
    How much does a fatal beating go for? Are the prices competitive, or should I import one from china?
  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:48PM (#29137747) Homepage

    Obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]

  • From the article:

    >Certainly the wrong way to help is to tell someone with a problem to do the 2-Step Program:
    >
    >Step 1. Turn the computer off and go outside.
    >
    >Step 2. Repeat Step 1.

    If you are already on the outside and the computer is off, how do you repeat step 1 ? This is certainly wrong, but for what reason?

    The australian car rental people I met once were much better. I asked them for some hints about driving on the left side, they just said "do that and stay there". It worked.

  • just by not paying my Verizon bill.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... 'shakawhenthewallsfell' ?

    Despite that this is a reference to one of the greatest Next Generation episodes ever, I'm not sure I see the connection.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by paazin (719486)
      According to Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org]:

      "Shaka, when the walls fell" - failure

      So, my guess it's just generic Star Trek geek for 'epic fail'
    • by Thyamine (531612)
      I was wondering this exact thing when I came in. Glad I'm not the only one scratching his head.
  • Why don't we send people who talk on the phone all day to telephone addiction treatment centers?

    Oh, right, that would be stupid.

  • Sure, this crowd is going to push back a lot. And it's prime material for jokes. But, in short, a lot of web addicts have underlying problems of which excessive use of the internet is really a symptom. People get legitimately addicted to all kinds of things, and the internet happens to be a completely ubiquitous, invasive entity... so I'll be curious to see if this group is capable of weeding through this primary symptom with an eye towards lower-level issues.

    At the most extreme end of the spectrum --
  • by LabRat007 (765435) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @04:03PM (#29138015) Homepage
    ...to be beaten to death?
  • FTA:

    "Hi, my name is Michael. (Your reply: "Hi, Michael"). And I have a problem with the Internet."

    No, no, no you insensitive clod ! I'm a recovering Internet addict. I don't click on "reply" anymore, and especially not "Reply All" ...

  • Can I get a room with decent wireless?

    Seriously, though: if you need 45 days to break your addiction to the web, for quite a bit lower sum you could just go get a tent and hang out in the Boundary Waters for 45 days.

    I *guarantee* that you would come back and while you might enjoy reconnecting to the web again, none of the virtual world would seem nearly as important as before you left.

  • by Zhe Mappel (607548) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @04:34PM (#29138579)
    ad . dic . tion, n.: The state or practice of engaging in an activity that does not earn money for one's boss. See antonymns at "well-adjusted" and "slave."
  • Enough with the "I'll go if they have wireless in the rooms" jokes, ok?

    What I want to know is, if this facility is successful, how will /. survive?

  • Anything can be done in excess, or can be neglected. Either to the point where we become dependent on the activity, or afraid of a situation, is bad because we change our lives to fit that to the detriment of our regular lives, had it not been affected by the activity. Therefore the activity controls us, and not the other way around. This can be done with anything, not just the internet, drugs, food, TV, and collecting garbage apparently. People who let it get to a certain point are too messed up emotio
  • You can pay $14,500 for treatment, or pay for 24 years of internet access.

  • That is not ironic.

  • I'm not addicted. I just find everything else in life less entertaining.
  • Taking their lead from China, two Americans have opened the first US-based Internet Addiction treatment center in Fall City, Wash.

    I wonder how much they charge for a beating that results in death?
    We might have some catch-up to do, as it seems china includes that service in their base fee ;P

  • Well, if you do spend time in Fall City, when kayaking or canoeing, go upstream and put in on the Snoqualmie river at the turbine house just past the base of the falls. It is a nice half day float, but don't bother going much downstream of Fall City as the river gets really slow to almost being stagnant and winds around forever before you get to Tolt River Park at Carnation.

    Having been there, Fall City probably needs an AA program more than it needs a internet addiction program

  • I'll open a kayaking addiction center nearby.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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