The Bakhir Mentouri Clinic in Constantine, Algeria, launched the country’s first rehabilitation program for people with Internet addiction.
The clinic pays special attention to compulsive users of social networks. Since the launch of the program in May 2016, its participants have become more than a hundred people aged 15 to 40 years. In the most severe cases, patients almost could not tear themselves away from the Internet, even to eat or take a shower. Among the external consequences of the disorder, doctors note headaches and spinal pains, aggressiveness and anxiety, if the patient is not given the opportunity to go online.
In addition to therapy, the clinic also conducts a public education campaign, the purpose of which is to draw attention to the urgent problem. Algeria has a high level of youth unemployment, only 25% of people under the age of 24 have any job. Often, the only place where young people can get together is 24-hour Internet cafes, which further exacerbates the problem .
The assistance program includes music and physical therapy, as well as meditation and group and individual sessions with a psychologist. All funding for the project hospital receives from the state.