Internet Addiction Disorder's Effects Similar to Drugs and Alcohol (VIDEO)

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By Elton Jones, Christian Post Reporter
January 13, 2012|3:44 pm

A group of researchers in China recently conducted a survey that discovered the negative effects of internet addition disorder.

The study revealed that internet addiction disorder causes negative effects on individuals. The changes in the brain are similar to the ones normally seen in people addicted to alcohol and drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana.

Researchers in China conducted a study with 17 young candidates who are addicted to the internet. The researches scanned their brain signs and found that the way in which their brains were wired up was disrupted.

Afterwards, the Internet addicted group's results were compared to the results of 16 individuals who weren't addicted.

The online science journal, Public Library of Science, revealed the study's findings. It revealed that the effects of the disorder were similar to brain alterations observed in people addicted to alcohol and cocaine.

Head researcher of the study, Dr. Hao Lei, and his colleagues reported on their findings: "Overall, our findings indicate that IAD [internet addiction disorder] has abnormal white matter integrity in brain regions involving emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision-making and cognitive control."

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"The majority of people we see with serious internet addiction are gamers -- people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations," said Henrietta Bowden Jones, a psychiatrist who runs the U.K.'s only taxpayer-funded clinic for both gambling and internet addicts.

"I have seen people who stopped attending university lectures, failed their degrees or their marriages broke down because they were unable to emotionally connect with anything outside the game," she added.

An expert on the effects of drugs feels the study’s finds may have been affected by additional factors, however.

"The limitations [of this study] are that it is not controlled, and it's possible that illicit drugs, alcohol or other caffeine-based stimulants might account for the changes. The specificity of 'internet addiction disorder' is also questionable," said Professor Michael Farrell, director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia.

This study presents more insight into web addiction. Several cases surrounding this mental disorder have surfaced in recent years.

A British student reportedly died after developing deep vein thrombosis while playing video games on his Xbox for 12 hours straight.

Also, a mother from New Mexico was sentenced to 25 years in jail after her neglected 3-year-old daughter starved to death while she was engrossed with fantasy role-playing game "World of Warcraft."

CTV News’ website had several users voicing their opinion on internet addition disorder. One commenter found the results interesting and noted how his wife may have it. The user posted, "Hmmmm! Interesting! My wife does 12-18 hours of the internet each day, can't clean the house or look for work, and becomes sick when the internet is down."

Another commenter felt this disorder should pertain to some video gamers as well: "Should cover the people with WOW and Call of Duty problems. I have relatives who play WOW five hours straight. I never thought it was healthy, now I know."

"I think it can be a habit that produces socially unacceptable behavior. If that behavior can parallel how a person addicted to drugs/alcoholic acts, then so be it," another user commented.

One’s unending need to scour the internet should be considered unhealthy and detrimental to one’s health and social attributes. This study solidifies this wild held opinion.

The embedded video below details the story of someone affected by their addiction to the internet:

elton.jones@christianpost.com
 

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