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BRMC Launches Nation's First Hospital Based Internet Addiction Treatment Center

Posted on: 09/03/2013

Bradford Regional Medical Center has launched the first hospital-based Internet addiction treatment and recovery program in the United States as part of BRMC’s Behavioral Health Services division.

 

The Internet Addiction Treatment and Recovery Program is an intensive 10-day digital treatment and stabilization program under the care of a multidisciplinary medical team. The program is intended for individuals who have been unsuccessful in overcoming Internet addiction on their own and serves those 18 years of age and older. 

 

Kimberly Young, Psy.D., an internationally-renowned expert in Internet addiction treatment serves as the Program Director. Young is a licensed psychologist and a professor at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. She has published numerous research articles, book chapters, and the first book to identify Internet addiction

 

“I’ve studied Internet addiction since 1995,” Young said. “Back then, people laughed when I told them what I did. Today, it is incredible to see my life’s work become a reality that will help so many people in need of treatment.”

 

Dr. Young, a touted pioneer in the field had the idea to start the treatment center years ago. “I received calls every week asking if I knew of a clinic or hospital to treat this condition but there weren’t any in the US,” she said

 

Internet addiction has become an epidemic and public health crisis in countries such as China, Korea, and Taiwan but only recently has Internet addiction been recognized in the U.S. as a serious problem. In May of 2013, Internet Gaming Disorder was included in Section 3 of the DSM-V, the bible of American psychiatric medicine.

 

In the medical field, addiction commonly relates to dependency on drug, alcohol or tobacco use.  However, the growth of the Internet has created both the benefit of instantaneous communication and the problem of a growing dependency by people who have become “hooked” on electronic gaming and other online applications. Like other forms of addiction, Internet addiction is consuming and, in some cases, ruining lives.

 

“In consultation with Dr. Young, we have developed an innovative and timely program to address this very real and serious disorder,” said Dr. Roger Laroche, M.D., D.A.B.A.M., medical director of Behavioral Health Services at BRMC. “Utilizing specialized techniques, patients receive psychiatric evaluations, medically supervised treatment, individual and group psychotherapy, and family consultation.”

 

In serious cases, treatment is necessary before recovery from Internet addiction can begin. Addicts suffering repeated relapse or denial first need a structured, therapeutic environment to initially understand and accept compulsive online behavior.

 

“BRMC is proud to launch the first program of its kind in the US,” said Timothy J. Finan, President and CEO of Upper Allegheny Health System, parent company of Bradford Regional Medical Center. “Our mission is to help others and we have a vision to offer a national program that will help so many with state-of-the-art facilities and a team of qualified experts.”

 

For more information call 1.800.446.2583

www.brmc.com/internetaddiction

 

 

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