Internet and Drugs. Linked Addictions?

So now if you're a college student and a heavy user of the Internet, you could be a junkie, too?

That's what a new study is saying, newswise,com reports.

It makes sense, I guess.  Addiction is addiction. “The findings provide significant new insights into the association between Internet use and addictive behavior,” the Web site quotes Dr. Sriram Chellappan, an assistant professor of computer science at Missouri S&T and the lead researcher in the study.

In the study, the subjects’ Internet usage was divided into several categories, including gaming, chatting, file downloading, email, browsing and social networking (Facebook and Twitter). Total scores "exhibited the highest correlations with gaming, chatting and browsing, and the lowest with email and social networking," newswise relates.

The researchers also observed that specific symptoms measured by the scale correlated with specific categories of Internet usage. "They found that introversion was closely tied to gaming and chatting; craving to gaming, chatting and file downloading; and loss of control to gaming," the Web site notes.

“About 5 to 10 percent of all Internet users appear to show web dependency, and brain imaging studies show that compulsive Internet use may induce changes in some brain reward pathways that are similar to that seen in drug addiction,” newswise quotes Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center. 

So what's the fix?  A "digital detox."  Do you go off for a month to a ranch or the seaside, with nary a computer onsite, for a retooling?  Seems no one quite knows yet.


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