PEORIA, Ill. - The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery has opened its doors as the only in-patient facility in the country to treat Internet addicts.
Located 180 miles outside Chicago, specialists at the site treat Internet addicts much as officials treat drug addicts or alcoholics."It's very common for others not to believe that Internet addiction is real," said therapist Tonya Camacho. "In fact, the person who is addicted to his or her computer is going to have the same 'high' as the drug addict who is about to go see their drug dealer. Both are escapes from the real world."
She said that Internet addicts commonly resist the removal of their computers."They just can't live without it," said Camacho, who added that a few people have even walked out of the program to get back on the Web or sneaked in Internet-ready cell phones or BlackBerry devices.Much like drug and alcohol addicts, Internet addicts must avoid being around the substances to which they are addicted, therapists said.