Rehab death of China Internet addict concerns
Aug 5 11:50 PM US/Eastern
The death of a teenage Internet addict allegedly beaten to death at a rehab camp in south China has triggered calls from medical experts for regulation on treatments for the problem.
Deng Senshan died early Sunday after he was allegedly beaten by trainers at a rehabilitation camp in Guangxi region where his parents had sent him to cure his addiction, state media reports said.
The case triggered outrage on the Internet and medical experts Wednesday called for specific laws and regulations on the diagnosis and treatment of Internet addiction, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
"The market of Internet addiction treatment in China is in a total mess due to lack of diagnostic standards and treatment guidelines," Tao Ran, director of China's first Internet addiction clinic at Beijing's Military General Hospital, was quoted as saying.
"The government should end this as soon as possible," Tao said.
Tao regards Internet addiction as a disease which needs medical treatment rather than the "ineffective" military-style training used by some rehab centres.
"The tragedy is not accidental. Most rehab camps adopt military training, but many teenage Internet addicts cannot handle it well. Thus it comes with conflicts and violence," Tao said.
Tao suggested the health and education ministries and other departments should make joint efforts in the prevention and treatment of Internet addiction, Xinhua said.
"Internet addiction has become the biggest youth problem in China. It deserves wide public concern," Tao said.
China has the world's largest number of Internet users with 338 million -- more than the entire population of the United States.
More than 10 million of the country's 100 million teenage web surfers are Internet addicts, the China Daily said Tuesday, citing a survey by the China Youth Internet Association last year.
Good thing I don't live in China, Clearly I qualify for this addiction, and would be beaten so I no longer look at the Internet.