Research science has proven for the first time that Internet addiction is similar to addictions to drugs or alcohol. Tests show that people who spend large amounts of time on the Internet or playing video games experience similar changes in brain function and wave patterns as people who have addiction or dependency problems.
In the groundbreaking new study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains of teenagers who spent many hours browsing the Internet, even to the detriment of their social and personal lives. The report comes after a recent incident made headlines regarding a gamer dying of a blood clot after spending more than twenty hours non-stop playing games online.
An estimated five to ten percent of Internet users are believed to be addicted and are unable to control the amount of time spent surfing the information superhighway. The majority of those addicted are hardcore gamers who become so absorbed in their online activities that they go without food, drink or sleep for long periods of time and their education, work and inter-personal relationships suffer.
The test findings could throw light on other behavioral problems and lead to the development of new treatments and therapies to help people overcome their addictions.