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Ministry looks at Net addiction diagnosis and treatment

REGULATIONS for the diagnosis and treatment of Internet addiction are expected to be finalized by the end of the year, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

Two institutions are working with two trial programs for the ministry, Oriental Morning Post reported today.

The ministry ordered a hospital in Shandong Province to stop using electric shock therapy to treat young people addicted to the Internet last month. It didn't ban medical treatment although a ministry official thinks it wasn't the best approach.

"Medical treatment can only be applied to those who are heavily addicted to Internet," said the official who was not named. "However, without a standard it is hard to judge the level of addiction."

The Peking University Institute of Mental Health and a therapy center affiliated to the Hunan Xiangya Hospital are conducting trial programs now.

The official said outdoor games and activities are attractive to children and may shift their interest from the Internet.

The ministry is contacting theme parks such as Happy Valley and Sun Garden Palace Park in Beijing in the hope of getting children addicted to the Net interested in real life.

A student allegedly beaten to death by teachers in a training camp in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southern China was being treated for Internet addiction in the unlicensed camp on August 2.


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