For Immediate Release
reSTART Meets With Chinese Delegates
On July 15, 2013 the reSTART Center for Technology Sustainability welcomed Chinese Delegates to a forum on internet, gaming, and technology dependencies as they commonly present in youth populations in China and the USA. The goal of this meeting was to help the Chinese ministers in charge of Youth Health strengthen health programs and international partnerships. Members of the Delegation discussed treatment guidelines and resources in an effort to better understand treatment approaches in this growing field of research. Many teenagers in China today experience difficulties in limiting their technology use, especially with the rise of online games and internet or cyber cafes. Delegates expressed concern over the high treatment failure rates of those who struggle with problematic technology use. They stated that the three most common explanations for unhealthy use include loneliness, a lack of social activities, and a preference for pleasure that is derived through gaming over experiences in the physical world.
The Chinese and Korean governments have named Internet addiction their #1 public health threat. The delegates stated that their programs differ from ours because they do not provide a prolonged period of abstinence from technology use. We believe that this dissimilarity makes it harder for a client to eventually develop a healthy relationship with technological devices, once those devices are reintroduced, following abstinence. Studies have shown that gaming and computer use can affect the same pleasure centers of the brain that are affected by psychoactive drugs, and overuse has the potential to lead to addictive patterns. The government in Beijing is said to be enacting limitations that discourage teenagers from playing online games for more than three consecutive hours at a time. The Administration has worked with game companies and developers to decrease the amount of experience points a character can earn after a certain period of time. However, it has been difficult to implement these regulations. reSTART shared its treatment approach. The delegation members expressed their appreciation of the program’s mission, as well as the variety of treatment activities it offers including, therapeutic groups, individual counseling, training in independent living skills, educational and job training, wilderness outings, and urban adventures.
For more information on reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program, LLC. contact Hilarie Cash, Ph.D., or Cosette Rae, MSW.
ReSTART is the world’s first retreat program specializing in problematic internet, video game and technology use. They work with individuals, couples and families to promote a better understanding of problematic technology use; assist users in discovering the underlying issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, ADHD, learning differences, stress, family relationship issues, and addictions) that may be co-occurring with excessive use patterns; and work together to design an individualized plan to promote a healthy, balanced and sustainable lifestyle.