China tries to cure net addicts at summer camp

China is launching an experimental summer camp for 40 young adults to try to wean them off their Internet addiction, state media said Tuesday.

The 10-day program will accept those aged between 14 and 22 once they have undergone a psychological test and evaluation, the China Daily said.

About 2.6 million--or 13 percent--of China's 20 million Internet users under 18 are classified as addicts, state media has reported.

The youths at the summer camp will be treated for depression, fear, panic, agitation and an unwillingness to interact with others.

This solution appear to be a softer option than the Internet Addiction Treatment Center near Beijing which uses a blend of therapy and military drills to treat youths addicted to online games, Internet pornography and cybersex.

Concerned by a number of high-profile Internet-related deaths and juvenile crime, the government is now taking steps to stem Internet addictions by banning new Internet cafes and mulling restrictions on violent computer games.

According to government figures, there are currently 113,000 Internet cafes and bars in China.

The newspaper cited the case of one student accepted to East China University of Science and Technology with high marks.

"He could not adjust to Shanghai campus life without burying himself in computer games," the China Daily said. "He would play day and night, skipping classes and avoiding friends, until he was pulled out of the Internet cafe by a supervisor."

In a joint effort with the camp, Shanghai's education commission has organized a volunteer group to patrol the city streets and stop minors entering Internet cafes.

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