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U.S. Adults Likely Addicted to Internet, Study Says

One in eight U.S. adults have admitted the need to spend less time online, a new study reports.

More than one in eight U.S. adults may be addicted to the web, according to a report released earlier this week by the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study questioned 2,513 people in the U.S. about their Internet habits; here are some particularly interesting highlights:

– 14 percent of those surveyed cannot refrain from habitually hitting the web
– Eight percent hide their Internet use from partners
– Six percent said compulsive online trawls adversely affect their relationships with others
– Eight percent admitted they visit cyberspace to escape the real world

The common thread in these results? These are all behaviors common to other types of addictions (drugs, alcohol, etc). “The issue is starting to be recognized as a legitimate object of clinical attention,” Stanford’s Dr. Elias Aboujaoude told BBC News. As a result, Internet addiction clinics are becoming an increasingly popular method for helping web junkies surmount their disorder.

Here’s what the people saying online about online addiction:

“It’s getting to be that we can be classified as addicts to practically anything, not just substances (illegal or otherwise)…While I’d freely admit that internet use is highly compulsive, and that some people almost certainly use it to the detriment of relationships, I don’t think it can be compared to crack, heroin or alcohol. When we start hearing about people committing robbery to pay for their bandwidth, I may consider reassessing that opinion.” — futurismic.com

“I’m reading about this story everywhere. It’s mocking me. Whoa. Maybe I am addicted.” — Internerd, proteinwisdom.com

“Someone close to me is an alcoholic, and now that they’re sober, probably spends as much time on the web as they did drinking. Substitute the Internet for alcohol? Probably. Internet as damaging as alcohol? Are the effin nuts? There’s addiction, and then there’s addiction. The medical establishment trying to make all addictions equally bad is a ploy to scare up more patients.” — R2.0, science.slashdot.org

” I’d rather give up the microwave, the dishwasher, the toaster, my hairdryer and my TiVo (reluctantly) than live without an internet connection for several days — that doesn’t mean I have a problem.” — revenuetoday.com/blogs

Talk: You’re reading about Internet addiction on, well, the Internet. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? COMMENT

On the Web:
med.stanford.edu

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