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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BRMC Launches Nation’s First
Hospital-Based Internet Addiction Program

Bradford Regional Medical Center has launched the first hospital-based Internet addiction detox 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 detoxification 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 Medical Director of the program. 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 detox, individual and group psychotherapy, and family consultation.”

In serious cases, detoxification 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 800.446.2583



Dr. Kimberly Young has developed the Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (IADQ), clients meeting five of the following symptoms were considered necessary to be diagnosed.

• Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet? (Think about previous online activity or anticipate next online session)
• Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
• Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
• Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
• Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
• Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
• Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
• Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?

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