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First American Internet Addiction Treatment Center

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the cure-for-what-doesn't-quite-ail-ye dept.

The Internet 278

An anonymous reader writes "Taking their lead from China, two Americans have opened the first US-based Internet Addiction treatment center in Fall City, Wash. — ironically close to Redmond (Microsoft's hometown). The center, called reStart: Internet Addiction Recovery Program, is a 45-day treatment center where, for a steep set of fees, people can be cured of their addiction to the Web. After paying the $200 application fee, addicts are charged $14,500 for the 45 days, an additional $800 for a screening, and more for extra services, like kayaking ($1,575)."

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278 comments

reStart? (2, Funny)

Flea of Pain (1577213) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137215)

Shouldn't they have called it reboot? Just sayin'...

Re:reStart? (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137583)

No, reboot comes before restart. Reboot's when you kick yourself in the ass for being stupid, before you actually do something about it.

Re:reStart? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29138051)

No, reboot comes before restart. Reboot's when you kick yourself in the ass for being stupid, before you actually do something about it.

What, you mean like paying somebody to beat you to death?

That would cure me... (5, Funny)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137221)

No wonder they cure Internet addiction, after paying 15 grand, you couldn't even afford dial up.

Re:That would cure me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137259)

You know what they say about a fool and his money...

Re:That would cure me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137609)

It's weird looking at the numbers presented and realizing that "Hey, my college tuition is lower than this, and that's in a 3.5-month semester. With books and housing, even!"

This is Penn State Main Campus, by the way, whose tuition costs are increasing ~6% a year.

Internet Addition = Pornography Addition (1, Flamebait)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137717)

This so-called Internet addition is really pornography addition.

After reading the previous statement, most Slashdotters just uttered a "heh" in cynical agreement. Pornographic images and video have the largest percentage (although it may not necessarily exceed 50%) of Internet bandwidth.

The interesting question to ask is whether the Internet-addiction clinic charges more than a sex-addiction clinic. The addict should attend the clinic that costs less -- assuming that the addict even acknowledges a problem.

Note that the American clinic is addressing an issue differing from that addressed by the Chinese clinic. The Chinese clinic is addressing a non-sex issue since, in theory, pornography is not allowed on the Chinese Internet.

Re:Internet Addition = Pornography Addition (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137915)

Some of the Internet-addicted may be porn addicts, but I'd wager a significant percentage of them are MMORPG addicts (most notably WoW). There are plenty of stories out there of people so addicted to that game, and others like it, that they suffer many of the same consequences (loss of family, job, etc) that hardcode substance abusers do.

Rather than focus on pornography, or even the Internet, I would focus more on addictive behaviors in general. Some people are simply more prone to addiction than others, and will become addicted to any number of things. Organizations like AA claim to beat addiction, but what they really do is redirect the addiction to less harmful (in theory) pursuits. So, many recovering addicts become heavy coffee drinkers, or heavy smokers, or get really big into religion (God addiction?).

A particular "XYZ Addiction" program may be useful to XYZ addicts because it puts them in with a group of people suffering from the same addiction, and maybe they can draw some support from each other. The ultimate goal of any of them, though, is simply to try and redirect the addictive tendencies toward less harmful addictions.

Re:Internet Addition = Pornography Addition (3, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137919)

They should have a service like this for religious people. Religious nutcase addicts are far more dangerous than some dude that plays warcraft all day or something.

Re:Internet Addition = Pornography Addition (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138057)

And the only thing the dude who spanks it too much in a day is going to cause is maybe the local grocery store runs out of tissues.

Free WiFi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137231)

Does the center have free wifi?

I wonder if... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137271)

I wonder if the beatings are free, or if you pay extra for that?

Re:I wonder if... (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137721)

Regular beatings are included.

Beatings that kill you cost an extra $1000.

Re:I wonder if... (1)

Rayzed (786761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137837)

However, hazing class is $50 for the sock full of soap! That's a whole lotta fun right there - way better than facebook any day!

money (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137289)

it very well sounds like the goal here isn't so much to actually "treat" people so much as to make large sums of money by catering to those of us who have access to lots of cash.

Re:money (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137347)

And there you've summed up just about all businesses in the USA.

Re:money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137857)

And there you've summed up just about all businesses in the USA.

Actually, Scientology was the first thing that came to mind...

Re:money (2, Funny)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137471)

Seems like it would be a lot cheaper to simply go 45 days with no internet access.

Re:money (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137789)

Hell, it'd be cheaper to go on a month long cruise. Although, I hear they have the internet now...

Re:money (2, Interesting)

pluther (647209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137549)

Concerned Parents would be the target market here, I'm guessing.

And why are they Concerned? Because they read all the marketing literature about the horrible fate awaiting their precious little snowflakes if they spend too much time on WoW.

Re:money (3, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137813)

I think it needs to be made more clear to the older generation that, no matter how much they don't like it, the fact is that the day is rapidly approaching when the person who doesn't spend *enough* time on the Internet will be the socially dysfunctional one.

Re:money (1)

Twyst3d (1359973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138135)

I agree with you but I would have gone the extra step to say that doing so does not require one to be physically home alone. iPhones and their soon to come cheaper better clones that dont require 2 year contracts will help that. In which case is it internet addiction? Or simply deppression?

Those telco companies don't know where to stop (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137297)

People will now have to pay monthly fee for not being connected to the Internet as well?

SWEET! (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137307)

Can I sign up online?

Re:SWEET! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137733)

sure thing...and they'll send you a confirmation by e-mail. They won't tell you when they'll send it so you may have to keep checking your inbox. I don't think I'm addicted to the Internet, but I do have a cron job to automatically order online from pizza hut every friday.

Re:SWEET! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137819)

Better yet, can I be treated online? I don't want to have to go outside for this...

So, slashdotters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137329)

when do we start flocking en masse to these "Treatment Centers" ??

Re:So, slashdotters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137451)

No pr0n = no deal.

Re:So, slashdotters... (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138069)

pr0n? For that kind of $$$, I'm expecting them to suppress my pr0n addiction w/ hookers and blow.

Brilliant! (4, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137337)

I must give a nod to this highly creative solution to net addiction: charge the victim so much money they can afford neither a computer nor a net connection! The elegance of the solution is awe-inspiring.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138029)

Obviously you are being somewhat facetious... but here is my question: why is it these "clinics" and "addiction help" things never make you do something constructive in your time? Kayaking is fun. Of course it's fun to not be on the internet to kayak. But why not, say ... work on something? Maybe ... chop wood? I don't know, I'm sure one could creatively come up with something productive to do instead of basically paying for a vacation without internet.

Plus, if it was productive, it would subsidize the cost.

Website? (1)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137339)

So, do they have a website? Myspace page? Twitter page? Facebook page? Youtube channel?

Re:Website? (4, Informative)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137529)

So, do they have a website?

Of course. http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/ [netaddictionrecovery.com]

Myspace page?

Don't be silly.

Twitter page?

Yep. http://twitter.com/GetYourLifeBack [twitter.com]

Facebook page?

Yep. http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/social-network/facebook.html [netaddictionrecovery.com]

Youtube channel?

They're probably still working on it...

Re:Website? (4, Funny)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137713)

Oh man, I found this HILARIOUS:

I had for a very extended period of time an addiction to an online game. I was very antisocial and i basically lived to play. Talking to Cosette helped me learn how to look at my addiction from another perspective. She got me to try to stop and i did. Now I am a much happier person and I have made an incredible amount of progress in my life. I have so many more friends, and I find that things come more easily to me, and I find joy in more things. Putting my life into one thing was horrible for me and now I have learned to apply myself, and I have broken my addiction. Thanks alot --Conner

Guide to the perfect testimonial:

Step 1: Use generalized words when talking about time. For example, instead of saying "for two years," use the term "very extended period of time."
Step 2: Mention that you now have a new perspective due to talking with --insert name here--. Don't go into detail about what your perspective is now or what it was then.
Step 3: Instead of detailing what steps you took to stop, just say - "she got me to try to stop and i did."
Step 4: Claim that you are happier
Step 5: Claim you now have bajillions of friends!
Step 6: ?????
Step 7: Profit!

Re:Website? (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138019)

I have so many more friends, and I find that things come more easily to me

Obviously, she broke his WoW addiction by getting him addicted to Facebook!

Re:Website? (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137557)

Probably the attendants will keep everyone informed about their progress on Twitter, and afterwards blog about their success, and maybe even put some videos on YouTube about how they are no longer internet addicts.

Forgive me if I'm skeptical (5, Informative)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137343)

They didn't talk about the qualifications of the people who run this place, only that they are:

Two friends -- Cosette Rae, a clinical social worker, and author Hilarie Cash

Now, these people could be people devastated by personal loss due to too much World of Warcraft by a loved one... or they could be two people who are fearmongerers desperately trying to leech cash out of rich Microsoft yuppie parents who can't figure out how to pull the plug on their kid's computerboxstation360.

All I'm saying is the article doesn't mention anything about them, and given the lack of PhD or even MD behind the names... I'll say nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Forgive me if I'm skeptical (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137399)

What are you talking about? Where did you get the idea you need a medical Degree to open a clinic?

Re:Forgive me if I'm skeptical (3, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137455)

What are YOU talking about?

I never said that they couldn't open a clinic without a having a medical degree... All I was saying is that I wouldn't trust those people as far as I could throw them to help others with their addictions.

I mean, they didn't even include a quote from the starters with why they do what they do...

Re:Forgive me if I'm skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137423)

but in America, the word "author" is the most respectable word one can have associated with themselves. If you've written a book on anything, you are a magical wizard and know all things.

Re:Forgive me if I'm skeptical (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137595)

They didn't talk about the qualifications of the people who run this place, only that they are:

Two friends -- Cosette Rae, a clinical social worker, and author Hilarie Cash

Now, these people could be people devastated by personal loss due to too much World of Warcraft by a loved one... or they could be two people who are fearmongerers desperately trying to leech cash out of rich Microsoft yuppie parents who can't figure out how to pull the plug on their kid's computerboxstation360.

All I'm saying is the article doesn't mention anything about them, and given the lack of PhD or even MD behind the names... I'll say nothing to see here, move along.

Are you perhaps referencing that crackpot lady who started a WoW rehab clinic (based loosely on a book she read about 12-step programs) after her clinically-depressed kid who played a lot of WoW tragically took his own life?

If so, it seems that her biggest mistake in doing so wasn't the misdirected rage at her "patients", nor the self-righteous religious mumbo-jumbo, but rather that she didn't charge high enough prices to get people's attention and evoke a sense of legitimacy.

As with many new ventures, it can sometimes be a mistake not to "go big."

Re:Forgive me if I'm skeptical (1)

Michael Nathan (1217448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137935)

Why do I get the feeling that all the checks for this place are to be written out to Hilarie? Last name only, of course, for simplicity's sake.

Kayaking? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137355)

I'm surprised it's not just a room full of prostitutes and an all you can eat plan for a week.

Re:Kayaking? (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137639)

If it was, slashdot would have about five comments per story, because we'd all be there except those nine women who post here!

The gay nerds would be gone because those nine women would scare them off...

HELP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137391)

You: I can't stop spending money on Amazon and Ebay!
Them: Don't worry! We're here to help! Where's that checkbook?

What a rip off... (2, Interesting)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137407)

So basically you're paying $15,000 for summer camp? I mean, there wouldn't be much that they do there that would help any more than just spending a month and a half outdoors with a large group of people away from computers. You're simply showing the people that there's more to do out there while helping them build real world social skills by keeping them in a group. The $15,000 is way excessive, and if you've got that kind of money lying around I can't imagine your internet addiction being that much of a problem.

Re:What a rip off... (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137735)

Well, a good number of people who have to work for a living already get ripped from their home computers for 8 hours a day, into an environment where wasting time on the Internet is frowned upon. Maybe not the people in the US who've posted to this article so far, myself included :). Even in places like my old job, where the entire chain of command up to director allowed employees to play WoW during downtime (Tier I call center), you still had to stop whenever work happened, which seems enough to prevent "Internet addiction" from setting in... So, people in a position to get Internet addiction in the first place are more likely to be either unemployed/rich, unemployed/too poor to afford even a summer camp, or unemployed/kid whos parents like to throw money at any problem. With these people in mind, $15,000 seems to be a good price to set it at...

Re:What a rip off... (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137925)

Even in places like my old job, where the entire chain of command up to director allowed employees to play WoW during downtime (Tier I call center), you still had to stop whenever work happened, which seems enough to prevent "Internet addiction" from setting in...

Sheesh, that's enough to keep WoW from setting in!

"This is great, we've got Illidan down to 35% and no deaths so far! We're gonna win this encounter!"

<lots of phones ringing>

"Damn, where's the pause button!?!"

Re:What a rip off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29138053)

you do battlegrounds, silly.

raiding is for after the shift is over and you havent gone home yet.

Re:What a rip off... (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137783)

There's an alternate: your neighborhood bar. However, it's almost as expensive...

Re:What a rip off... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137967)

Well for one, the summer camp won't beat your kid to death for not running fast enough.

Do they have Wifi? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137427)

n/t

One question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137433)

"and more for extra services, like kayaking ($1,575)."

Is that virtual kayaking on an Xbox 360?

Why ironically close to Redmond? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137447)

MS was and is far from the lead on the internet thing.

Wouldn't it be ironically close to Al Gore's place of birth or something similar?

pen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137453)

Do they have one of something like this for television?

Uh Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137457)

Dammit, they'll use tasers here, not like China where they get sticks..

This is SO AWESOME!! (-1, Redundant)

Magycian (121354) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137479)

I wonder...
Does the cost include Internet Access? Probably doesn't matter: I'm sure my Blackberry will work up there.

What would the Online course cost? Virtual Kayaking would be a hoot.

Taco? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137491)

No Taco! It's Not TUESday, it's THURSday! How about filet-o-fish Thursday?

Feel Sorry (1)

ashtophoenix (929197) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137503)

First I feel sorry for the parents who can't get their kids to get off the Internet and go outside.
Next, I have to say, these greedy bastards did it again. Another way to make money. Another way to get money out of those rich folks who can afford it.
Parents - put some time into your children, talk to them, get them into a traditional summer camp - that won't cost you a quarter of your child's college savings. Spend some more time with your children, invest time and emotions into them instead of wasting your dough.

Re:Feel Sorry (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137693)

Another way to get money out of those rich folks who can afford it.

Better than making your money from poor people who can't.

Odd (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137521)

It's odd how they've conveniently changed the meaning of "addiction". The definition used to be that for something to be addictive, it had to have physical withdrawal symptoms, like alcohol, caffiene, niccotine, heroin, etc. What used to be separately termed "habituation" is now termed "addiction".

However, as I learned when quitting cigarettes, the habituation can be as bad as the addiction. Two years after I stopped, and didn't even WANT a cigarette, I still slapped the shirt pocket that used to hold the cigarettes when I left work. Do anything for thirty years and you'll miss it, even if "it" is being hit on the head with a stick.

AVGN Therapy (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137525)

They should force them to play mind-bendingly awful games, a few days of "Sunday Funday" ought to set them straight. That or the popular "beat you to death" therapy I've heard so much about.

coutless hours on the internet (1)

bodland (522967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137581)

I have never once come across "internet addiction" I know it simply does not exist. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE! STOP STANDING BEHIND ME...GOD!

From TFA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137589)

...and this treatment is mandatory under ObamaCare for anyone the NSA observes reading Fox News or viewing certain types of photos on Flickr.

P.T. Barnum Had it Right (3, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137619)

"There's a sucker born every minute."

Sorry, but anyone who pays over $15k to "cure" themselves of addiction to the internet is an idiot. I can cure it for you faster, easier, and cheaper - in fact, you'll MAKE money.

Cancel.

Your.

Internet.

There. I saved you over $15k.

Sorry for the lack of sympathy but there are people out there with real addictions who need help. "Internet addiction" is a complete joke.

And, for anyone who is about to point out people who have an obsessive need to be online, don't confuse OCD behaviour with addiction. The two are different. One may lead to the other but they are not the same. People aren't addicted to the internet. Sorry.

ironic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137625)

Ironic would be if Microsoft employees were less likely to be addicted to the internet than others. Come to think of it, maybe after the frustration of having to surf the web with IE all day, their addiction cures itself. In that case, it would be ironic to build a center next door.

A far more effective way to deal with this: (0, Troll)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137633)

To save to client money and from excessive treatment costs:

-- Create an addiction sign up site
-- Commit the addict to an "outed tracking" list to which they agree to remain monitored for 90 to 180 days
-- Daily update a list of the hours and general category of site (not the URLs, content or such-- could be a liability for ID theft, etc...)
-- Charge the client .... $0.00 (Surely, there are some Open Source geeks/fans/fanatics with exceptional programming skills who can direct their energies into this kind of project)
-- In advance, client agrees that early termination results in their name and status remaining indefinitely listed.

$15,000+ is a HELL of a steep price. For that price, the biopharmas might see a market for distribution/charging of Surfing Aversion Drug...

Yo, Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137729)

testing 1 2 3

Author has bad programming skills (1)

32771 (906153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137825)

From the article:

>Certainly the wrong way to help is to tell someone with a problem to do the 2-Step Program:
>
>Step 1. Turn the computer off and go outside.
>
>Step 2. Repeat Step 1.

If you are already on the outside and the computer is off, how do you repeat step 1 ? This is certainly wrong, but for what reason?

The australian car rental people I met once were much better. I asked them for some hints about driving on the left side, they just said "do that and stay there". It worked.

Why is this tagged with... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137849)

... 'shakawhenthewallsfell' ?

Despite that this is a reference to one of the greatest Next Generation episodes ever, I'm not sure I see the connection.

Re:Why is this tagged with... (2, Informative)

paazin (719486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138041)

According to Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org]:

"Shaka, when the walls fell" - failure

So, my guess it's just generic Star Trek geek for 'epic fail'

American E-Pie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137869)

One time, at Internet Addiction Camp.....

just need an IP enabled boxing glove or taser(tm) (1)

be99 (1598591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137883)

Just need a remote controlled boxing glove (ala jackass 2) or a modified shock collar. When someone goes somewhere they don't need to go, they either get hit or shocked. problem solved. Set up a website, charge other people a fee to "press the button" and you've just covered your costs with little to no personnel and it'll run itself, so you can do a good service AND still play WoW. (or my soon to be downfall, quakelive.). anyone who does this company, I want 1% of profits so I can retire.

What? (1)

scribblej (195445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29137905)

Why don't we send people who talk on the phone all day to telephone addiction treatment centers?

Oh, right, that would be stupid.

That's nice and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137923)

..but are the mortal beatings free?

Internet Addiction iPhone App (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29137931)

There is an app called "Disconnect with Andrew Johnson" on the iPhone app store. You can use technology to beat your addiction. http://bit.ly/DisCon

I reserve judgement -- let's see the results. (1)

smackenzie (912024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138007)

Sure, this crowd is going to push back a lot. And it's prime material for jokes. But, in short, a lot of web addicts have underlying problems of which excessive use of the internet is really a symptom. People get legitimately addicted to all kinds of things, and the internet happens to be a completely ubiquitous, invasive entity... so I'll be curious to see if this group is capable of weeding through this primary symptom with an eye towards lower-level issues.

At the most extreme end of the spectrum -- and sometimes that's all an addiction is, normal behavior taking to an extreme -- they'll have to deal with people who might use the internet to escape all human interaction, who always use pornography in lieu of meaningful relationships, who have trouble separating fantasy violence from real life situations in which violence has consequences, who have general-category neurological issues like autism, aspergers syndrome, etc.

On one hand, in light of this, a kayak trip is a joke. On the other hand, sometimes these things are all it take to get people thinking about bigger issues, especially if they can be directed to long-term, more appropriately fine-tuned help.

HUH? (1)

anglico (1232406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29138043)

If you have that kind of money to waste on this 'addiction' cure wouldn't it be cheaper to just hire a therapist? I just can't see how somebody would pay that much to cure what so many generations survived without? We'll say it's a teenager forced by their parents to go here, it would still be cheaper to just take time off of work and supervise the kid for a long period of time. Maybe the parent will learn something in the process that probably got their kid 'addicted' in the first place.
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