Inpatient Treatment for Internet Addiction

Inpatient treatment for Internet Addiction may seem extreme. I received a new call from a father concerned about his son who spends too much time gaming. He plays World of Warcraft for hours a day. The son does not believe that this is any cause for concern. His father thinks he should be admitted to our new program at the Bradford Regional Medical Center in Bradford, Pa. The program is intended for serious cases of Internet addiction. Those who may otherwise not be able to stop gaming on their own. Those who may not be able to manager digital devices and the time they spend online.

The program begins with a 72-hour detox period — removing all electronic and digital devices from the patient. During this time, the patient receives education and individual therapy on how to approach recovery. The issues address include building self-esteem, learning how to manage time (in general and not just with digital devices), how to improve social skills, how to improve study habits (for those still in school), how to improve overall relationships, and how to avoid relapse once exposed to the computer again.

After the 72 hours of detox, the client is given his or her laptop or digital device. Each client must bring one device to use after discharge. This will be the ONLY device that he or she will use once home!  This is aimed at consistency. The client should not be using multiple devices, as that only increases the risk of relapse, but using one device to access the Internet is a way of controlling behavior. The idea of treatment using CBT-IA is managing behavior so it does not become out of control again.

As clients progress through the program, they relearn how to use devices and find an appropriate balance with using technology. I call this going on a Digital Diet — similar to treating food addictions, where we can’t stop eating as the method of treatment, we also can’t stop using the Internet as a method to treatment. It is about making healthy choices in our Internet use. It is about finding a healthy balance of Internet use with other aspects of one’s life. Too often, serious cases of Internet addiction require inpatient treatment to detox because for that person, online use has been consuming. They can’t go a minute without it!

I hope this provides a good overview of the inpatient treatment clinic for Internet addiction. For admissions, we have a licensed professional review your case to see if inpatient care or outpatient therapy are the best options. Call 1-716-375-2076 for more information or visit to arrange an appointment or evaluation today.