China’s Rehab For Internet-Addicted Youth


Around the world, addiction destroys people’s
lives, it slows down economic progress, and disrupts peaceful societies. But addiction is not exclusive to drug use,
many activities are prone to abuse, and in the 21st century, some people are literally
becoming addicted to technology. In China, this abuse has become such a societal
problem that rehab centers are opening up for these electronic addicts. Seeker Stories dove into the problem. “We can’t control him anymore. We want him to understand what is happening
to him, to heal, and for this nightmare to be over…” These are the words of a parent of an addict…but
it’s not what you think. Because they’re not talking about drug or
alcohol abuse, they’re talking about a controversial condition that many believe is affecting more
and more people every day. Some call it ‘Electronic Heroin.’ Others simply know it as: the Internet. Now, we’re all guilty of spending way too
much time online, but for a growing number, the Internet is more than that, it’s an
obsession. Internet addiction has been nicknamed ‘Electronic
Heroin’ because researchers have found that heavy Internet users suffer changes in brain
functionality similar to those observed in drug abusers, and further study has shown
that the withdrawal symptoms can be similar too. In China, bootcamp-style rehab clinics have
started to open up to help addicts conquer their problem. Tao Ran, a psychiatrist and military colonel
who runs the Daxing Boot Camp in Beijing, has noticed the similarities between his patients
and drug addicts first hand. “It destroys relationships and deteriorates
the body without the person knowing. All of them have eyesight and back problems
and suffer from eating disorders.” When patients arrive at Daxing Boot Camp,
it’s rarely of their own accord. Most have been forced to come here by their
parents. The addicts are put on a diet and exercise
regimen, and of course a no-Internet policy is strictly enforced. Patients are sometimes given medication and
their brain activity is also closely monitored to measure the progress in functionality. The boot camp treatment may be on the extreme
side, but many parents in China still see it as the best option for reforming their
children. The country has some 24 million “web junkies,”
and many of them are kids who spend their days in Internet cafes specially kitted out
with armchairs and beds so users never have to leave. Parents believe the military-style drills
mixed with family therapy sessions at boot camps like Daxing can help their kids transform
their lives. While more and more boot camps are opening
around the country to meet the demand, not all are set up like Daxing. Recent reports have shed light on the physical
abuse of patients in some centers, and others have even resorted to using electroshock therapy
to treat addicts. Although these reports are concerning, some
argue that it’s proof that standardized treatment and care needs to be developed to
tackle the growing problem. Though that might be a long way off, as Internet
addiction still isn’t fully recognized by many clinicians and psychiatric organizations. For the patients at Daxing on the road to
recovery, the addiction feels very real and the fear of re-entering a world with the Internet
can be daunting. As one boy who extended his stay said, “I
am afraid to go back to a normal life…I fear I will become addicted again. That is why I have asked to stay longer, until
I develop enough confidence to deal with life.” If you want to see more in-depth content like
this, check out Seeker Stories. They’ll take you around the world sharing
stories of extraordinary people, cultures and innovations. Like this one that explores why nearly half
the people on Earth risk their lives every time they cook. Watch this episode to learn how engineers
at UC Berkeley plan to combat this problem by redesigning the cook stove. As Juanete was cooking, I could hear her coughing
and her grandchildren coughing around her. And as she explained, she has no other choice,
but to cook this way even though she knows that it could cause harmful long-term health
issues. What’s incredible is that smoke inhalation
kills more people worldwide than HIV and malaria combined. Please make sure to like and subscribe to
Seeker Stories to see new webdocs every week.

100 thoughts on “China’s Rehab For Internet-Addicted Youth

  1. Asian culture and tech/internet really seem to have a problem mixing. While you hear stories like this come from the western countries once in a while its never to the frequency of what is coming out of Asia.

  2. Addiction is usually the symptom of an underlying problem. If they're likely to become addicted again, then that could be a sign that the problem is still there.

  3. I think the title "internet addiction" or any sort of concept of a "screen addiction" is rather ignorant. Many different things go on behind the screen, and to be addicted to more specific aspects of this does make sense but to say one is addicted to the internet or electronics as a whole is simply senseless.What people can become addicted to is seeing a TV show progress or playing a video game, because such forms of entertainment are designed to rope people in. People cannot become addicted to having a link to the internet, that much simply makes no sense fundamentally; what part of simply being connected to the internet has an addictive mechanism? The internet is a tool, and addictive practices can occur through it, but those practices should be recognized individually.

  4. Because military camp fixes everything. Well when China breaks off into multiple factions, there's bound to be an internet faction that's going to exact vengeance lol.

  5. Depriving them completely from the internet is hindering their growth. Instead, they should control it and teach them self control.

  6. This is why I never hoped on the social media bandwagon I still use a flip phone but I do have an iPad however I just use it for school

  7. I go on the internet all the time. As soon as i finish my schoolwork and eat dinner i play games and watch youtube. Is that bad?

  8. Electronic heroin? Similar withdrawal symptoms? Someone obviously hasn't seen a person suffer from heroin withdrawal symptoms.

  9. This is so stupid. Internet addition? It's the whole "Gaming causing people to be more violent" shit all over again, it's always something people are afraid of. Rock music, Bikes, Movies, Games. Im' not too surprised about this but I am shocked Seeker daily would report on this and just skimp over the fact that maybe there's a reason internet addiction is NOT a recoqnized affliction. Maybe cus there has never been a case study proving that it is???? Maybe this is not about internet addiction at all but maybe it's about the living situation and other factors in this part of the world that causes people to wanna escape reality?

    More objective reporting in the future Seeker pls, that's why i come here – to hear the facts.

  10. Great video, but the speaker keeps mispronouncing the name of the Internet Addiction Boot Camp, Daxing, at 1:25, 1:43, 2:23, 2:34, and 3:00. It's pronounced "Dah-Shing" not "Daksing". In pinyin, the x is pronounced as "sh". Please learn to pronounce pinyin correctly, Seeker Daily. 謝謝!

  11. Son: develop computer gaming make million of dollar
    parent: Internet-Addicted
    so it is not the Son fault that he is addicted but it is the time change fast and parent didn't learn it and Bias kinda like Trump on Climate Change

  12. In a country that bans hundreds of websites like Google and YouTube, it is surprising that some Chinese still get addicted to the Internet.

  13. 3:15 See, here is the problem. These camps are not teaching teenagers to be responsible internet users, but rather people with internet disabilities, if nothing goes wrong. The plot, even in the best case scenarios, is the same as clockwork orange. Even taxi drivers requires an uber account to stay competitive, how do you think these internet fearing individuals are going to compete in the job market 10 years from now? How do you think they are going to see their parents after they send them to a torture camp for a few years and pays to have them stay longer? It is a total nightmare of a system, Stop painting it as if internet addiction is really a thing, or these camps can actually help anyone. They will use videos like this to fool more parents into imprisoning their teenage children, and you will be the enabler of evil.

  14. Since i am addicted to digging up any historical information i should join this camp and share my addiction by making them more angrier…

  15. I seriously don't understand how this could be such a bit problem in China. The internet here is censored and most can't afford gaming computers so online gaming is pretty much just counterstrike and league of legends. Even pornography is banned here so what are they even getting addicted to?

  16. I think there's a strong cultural/social element as to what kind of addictions become dangerous or long-lasting.
    A common thing cited by researchers is the experience of U.S soldiers during and after Vietnam. Many frequently used drugs during military assignments, often mirroring addiction; but for the vast majority, the symptoms and addictions subsided when they returned to the U.S. I suspect something similar may be in effect with China.

    Do note that China in particular has had an interesting experience with addiction in its recent history; opium and all that imperialism jazz.
    That certainly affects how its medical community sees, diagnoses and treats situations there.

  17. @Seeker Daily Some graphics used in the video is of Hong Kong not China, the problem is way more prominent in Mainland China than in HK. Please be more wary of where exactly is the graphics taken at/showing.

  18. Be honestly,i just to watch manga and amarican animation(just like south park or rike and morty),because the game would waste too much time in my mind,my many friends likes to play LoL with a group when they have finished their work ,but my opinion is that everybody totally have different funny time with his favorite

  19. Chinese internet is the most censored in the world ; their communist corrupt leaders wish to do this shit in the west . I wonder what the Chinese people are addicted to since they don't have freedom of speech . Oh I know it's video games . That is probably the only rights they have since they don't have the same freedoms like here in the west .

  20. We really need to learn moderation. I'm not going to lie, I've spent a lot of time online. And yes, when I go without Internet for a while, I do feel weird. I can understand a lot of what they're saying, here. That being said, there's got to be a way to teach people, or at least instill in them the willpower, to have self-imposed limits.

  21. For the 1st time ever the ultimate cure for every mental badstate/addiction is revealed!!. Addiction is the outcome of your inner emptyness. Life with the mind blocking and distorting it is not fulfilling. It leaves you empty and full of desire for something to fill the emptiness. The things the mind does to try to fill the void just block life ( true reality) more. Your mind will search for pleasure ( porn, drugs, videogames) to fill up the emptyness that it has been creating itself. You are trapped, it is the ultimate vicious cycle. Free yourself from mental slavery, Google truthcontest and read the present, it explains for the 1st time ever the ultimate truth of life, it explains the big picture of life ( the nature of everything), including the real truth about the nature of the mind and the key to overcome the mental prison permantly.

  22. I like how they don't mention the electroshock torment they do to the patients as punishment.. oh wait I'm sorry, i think they prefer to call it " treatment"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *