reSTART Internet Addiction Treatment Center Rehab Program for Computer Internet Addicts

Children Addicted to Video Games reSTART internet addiction treatment center for computer internet and video gaming addicts, people who are addicted to the internet or playing video games, has opened its first rehab residential treatment program in the U.S. Commonly referred to as Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD), the reSTART treatment center opened its doors in August 2009 with its first patient, 19-year-old Ben Alexander of Iowa City.

reSTART, described as a 45-day video game and Internet addiction recovery program, is located in Fall City, Washington, about 30 miles east of Seattle. An admitted gaming addict, Alexander became so addicted to the online fantasy game World of Warcraft that he would spend more than 16 hours a day glued to the computer game, skipping meals and sleep for the sake of playing the game.

In an interview with Time, Alexander says he became so addicted to playing video games that “It was pretty much all I was doing when I was in college.” After unsuccessfully trying to wean himself off of the addictive game and nearly failing school, he “had a moment of clarity” and asked his dad for help. Before discovering reSTART, Alexander checked into an addiction treatment center in Eastern Washington but that didn’t help, and then went to a wilderness adventure program in Utah, all to no avail.

Internet Addiction Treatment Centers

Ironically located less than 15 miles from Microsoft’s Redmond Headquarters, the Heavensfield Retreat Center (reSTART) is a 5-acre wooden retreat with a 3,500 square foot craftsman house, Western red cedar treehouses, chicken coops, and goat pens. For a whopping cost of just $15,500 for the 45-day stay (including application, screening and treatment fees) internet and gaming addicts are cut off from the web… cold turkey.

The reSTART website ( says inpatient treatment for internet addiction includes working with a therapist, a recreation coach, yoga and exercise instructors, nature hikes, household chores, career development and other activities in an effort to “reprogram” patients and rid them of their addiction to the internet or online gaming.

Even though Internet addiction or video game addiction is not yet included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) doesn’t make these addictions less serious and real, especially in the lives and families affected by Internet Addiction Disorder.

Unfortunately, Internet addiction is not recognized as a separate disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, and treatment is not covered by insurance. But there are many treatment centers for internet addiction in China, South Korea and Taiwan — where Internet addiction is taken very seriously — and many psychiatric experts say it is clear that Internet addiction is real and harmful.

ReSTART is run by psychotherapists Cosette Dawna Rae and Hilarie Cash, authors of Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control, who believe Internet addiction and gaming are no less addictive than other seemingly harmless activities, such as gambling. Since helping her first patient overcome an addiction to a role-playing computer game fifteen years ago, Cash re-focused her practice to treating patients who are compulsive Internet and gaming addicts to the point where their they stop eating and sleeping properly, risk losing their jobs, marriages and relationships are ruined, plus various potentially serious health problems (including death). The harmful effects of internet addiction or video game addiction cannot be ignored any longer – if you or your kids are showing symptoms of addiction, act now.

The signs of internet or gaming addiction cannot be ignored, and if you or your children are addicted to video games or the internet itself, can you afford the cost of going to reSTART or any other internet treatment centers that pop up around the U.S. or other countries?

Think about it. How much time do you or your children spend online, whether it be social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, online virtual worlds like Second Life, silly Facebook games like Yoville or Mafia Wars, amongst others? Could you, someone you love, or your children be addicted to the internet or video games and not even realize it?

It’s time to get a life. A real life.

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13 Responses to “reSTART Internet Addiction Treatment Center Rehab Program for Computer Internet Addicts”

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  1. Janet Fox says:

    Internet addiction is a growing concern among people… especially children. What started as a positive trend with people becoming more web-conscious… is gradually starting to show its evil side. In fact, just as I mentioned in ur last post.. kids nowadays have abandoned all forms of outdoor activity and are more comfortable staying indoors and surfing the net.

    Internet addiction can severely curb the growth of a person and cut down the social life. In fact, I know that sometime back I was super addicted to Facebook and I realized my online life was more happening than my actual social life. That is when I decided to take a break from the internet..

    • Lin says:

      Hi Janet,

      A lot of people don’t realize how serious internet addiction is, and how harmful mindlessly sitting in front of the computer for hours on end playing online games, or even social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter (just to name two). I keep seeing people talk about how various games on Facebook especially have become an “addiction” for them, then joke about how Facebook should have to pay for their internet addiction treatment.

      It makes me crazy when I read about video game websites being created and targeted towards children to play online games, with more and more new games being added to keep kids hooked on the computer.

  2. Joe Callander says:


    What do you do when your son-in-law can not brake away from gaming to bring the bottle he forgot, when he dropped his son off at grampy’s. Just can not figure it out!

    He is missing Henry’s early years which he will never get back. Help!

  3. Natalie says:

    Are there any programs like gamblers annonymos to help people? My spouse is a video game addict- he especially likes world or warcraft. he is in severe denial though it is casuing problems in the marriage. Cannot afford the rehab but maybe meetings?

  4. no name says:

    The internet certainly is addictive and it is increasingly becoming more and more addictive. One of the most addictive online games at the moment is Minecraft. This game literally does not end. I think these games and social networking sites are really having an effect on the development of children.

  5. k says:

    I am deperately seeking a treatment center for my 19 year son who has dropped out of college and has no friends but his online friends and his girlfriend. We live in Illinois so Washington is state is very far away, plus I can’t afford anything that is not covered by insurance. This should be recognized as a real and pervasive social disorder that is only going to get worse. The First Lady should address this as well in her campaign against childhood obesity. There seem to be so few resources available for us at this time.

    • Linda says:

      Our nineteen year old son was on the dean’s list in college fall and winter quarters. Then he started going down hill and playing x box live more and more. He has failed his classes and dropped all his activities and friends.He seems to only need the people he talk to for hours on x box live. Even the psychiatrist doesn’t really know what to do. Cut him off cold turkey..he’s already had several severe depressive bouts and lots of anger. There is no help for game addicts-only drugs and alcohol. And we are going broke paying psych bills.

  6. Tired Spouse says:

    So my husband wakes up goes right to his xbox 360 and plays halo til he has to work; most of the time he leaves late and knows he will arrive late to work. Gets home from work in the evening and will take off his coat and play halo until about 3 am on most days. On his days off i am lucky if i can get him to stop playing for an hour to just spend sometime with me. If i want to go out and just spend a few hours out with him he either refuses to go or comes up with every excuse possible to come home sooner rather than later. I am sooo fed up with halo its not funny! When we first met he was really into the computer game called everquest when i found out i gave him the ultimatum and told him to give it up or i was leaving. But now that doesnt seem to work, i did leave for 6 months and it got worse instead of just gaming he got into some very ‘hard’ drugs, couldnt keep a job and first got into halo.

    Please if anyone has some suggestions, I want some change!

  7. Carl Stevens says:

    My son needs help. He was a gifted kid in High School. He even got a scholarship for college. He was always a heavy gamer, but now I fear it consumes his life. He lost his scholarship after the first semester. I’m positive it was because it was his first experience away from home and he over-played on his laptop too much in his dorm room. Since then, he has never gotten back to achieving anything close to his potential as far as grades go. We had a big blow up tonight when I finally found out his last semester grades. I’m pulling him out of college because it’s a waste of time and money. I’m in Orlando. Is there professional help here? I would rather spend money getting him help than waste another dime on bad grades at college.

    • Linda says:

      If he is not in school right now…take the computer away. I threw the x box live in our river and told him it would never come into my home again. Then I started taking him to counseling. I found one near us that insurance would take. If he is still considered a student, they do have free counseling at college…you might be able to go with him. It is very hard to deal with them, especially if they have any sort of disorders like ADD, ADHD, anxiety, Aspergers, etc. They are several years behind in development in maturity. The best thing we found for our son was working. He has now shifted his focus to make money. We told him if he wanted to play games again, he would have to support himself in his own apartment. That is easier said than done. He found out he could not do it. We basically took everything away from him so he didn’t have much choice but to go to counseling. He was very angry though. Tough year. So he is working part-time now and going to school part-time. Not what we wanted, but at least not addicted to video games in our basement again.We hope he will go back to school full time when he is ready.

      • Carl Stevens says:

        Thank you for your response. I find it interesting that between you, my wife and I… we came to the same conclusions and course of action to rectify the situation. Fortunately, our son has no disorders as you mentioned, but I completely agree he is behind in development in maturity. That point you make was an eye opener for us. We have told our son that we are no longer going to support his habit. He needs to grow up and take responsibility for his life and his actions. If he wants to go to school, he will need to pay for it himself. If he wants to drive his car, he will need to pay for the insurance… etc. We are suggesting that he drop out of college for a year, get a job (or two) and make money. Hopefully he will learn that part-time work is hard and does not pay well. I also demanded that if he live under my roof, that he gets counseling. He is a privileged kid who didn’t appreciate what he had and we determined that he will not realize that until it is all taken away. My biggest fear is that he will become comfortable and not go back and get a college degree. The dilemma being; which is better, to drop out of college and get a menial job… or get a college degree with a lower grade-point-average and try to find a decent professional job? Thank you for your help… it is very much appreciated.


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