In a rather controversial turn of events the National Health Service (NHS) announces it will allocate budget to treat clients who suffer from internet addiction. This is despite funds being obliterated in recent years towards treating drug and alcohol addiction. Even treatment programmes designed to treat terminal illnesses such as cancer have been given the chop due to budgetary constraints.
Funding will be used to treat so-called ‘behavioural addictions’ such as porn, online shopping and gaming addiction. Games such as Gran Turismo, League of Legends and World of Warcraft are thought to be the worst offenders for causing gaming addiction.
This unprecedented step was given the green light following concerns raised by doctors who shockingly claim internet addiction is as destructive as drug and alcohol abuse!
The plans received much criticism, particularly given that the NHS is massively over-budget by around £1 billion plus many ‘essential services’ have been hit by Whitehall cuts over the last five years of Tory rule.
A new treatment facility known as the Centre for Compulsive and Addictive Behaviours has been set up in North West London to specifically deal with the issue of internet addiction. NHS figures reveal 100 clients are being treated at another clinic in Fulham. Around 40 of these clients are being treated for internet porn addiction.
The NHS defends the move saying the treatment will save more money in the long run by preventing more serious mental and physical health problems caused by internet addiction. This includes the breakdown of relationships, depression, anxiety, vulnerability to disease and sleeping disorders.
Advocating the move, British psychotherapist Lucy Beresford said, ““Compulsive gaming, watching porn and shopping can be akin to drinking, drug-taking or gambling. I would have no issue with NHS funds being used to help people with these kinds of addictions. The key thing is that people recognise they have a problem and seek help.”
“In most cases gaming is harmless, but some people do it to self-soothe difficult moods or cope with situations and this can end up damaging lives.”
Labour’s Grahame Morris, who also supports the move, said: ““It seems reasonable to fund interventions to help people overcome addictions to computer games, gambling and some other compulsive or addictive behaviour which can lead to anti-social behaviour, social exclusion and even serious mental health problems later.”
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