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Two women have begun a small treatment program for Internet addiction near Fall City, Wash., called the reStart: Internet Addiction Recovery Program.

The two — Cosette Rae, a clinical social worker, and author Hilarie Cash — believe their center is a first in the U.S. They started it after treating a large number of people dependent on gaming, gambling, chatting, texting and other Internet-related activities.

The 45-day treatment program at the five-acre Heavensfield costs $322 per day.

Discussions of Internet addiction usually range from the amused (”so, who isn’t?”) to the dismissive (“just go outside and play”) and the entire concept is controversial.

Commentary on addiction or excessive use of new substances or activities has been around for a long, long time. One of Nuremberg artist Albrecht Durer’s most profound prints is his “Melancholia,” which shows a pretty depressed looking angel surrounded by intellectual apparatus and tools of the day (1514). And Hogarth’s social commentary on the drinking habits of his fellow Englishmen in his “Beer Street” and “Gin Lane” prints is a condemnation of the gin, a newly-available intoxicant in 1751. So, even those hundreds of years ago, people were trying to figure out “how much of this is really healthy?”

Today, the answer for malware writers is pretty simple: “you need to do a lot less coding and play a lot more World of Warcraft!” And when you need a break, fly over to Heavensfield. (“Resurrection in 45 days!”)

Story here.


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