The devastating effects of addiction — to alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, opioids — are well documented. But video and computer games, cybersex and online porn, Internet gambling and surfing, texting and emailing, social media platforms, online auctions, and shopping can be every bit as addictive as substances.
In our practice at the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, we’ve seen numerous lives destroyed or derailed by technological addictions. People have gotten so caught up in virtual worlds that they’ve lost jobs, money, and loved ones in the real world. Reports from South Korea and Alabama tell stories of parents so engrossed in gaming that they neglected and even starved their own children. Read more here.