Counselling Agency Formed to Fight Internet Addiction
By Linda
The Information Culture Centre of Korea has opened the first government funded counselling and research agency to cope with the risks of a new form of dependency: Internet addiction. The Information Culture Centre of Korea (ICCK) is a non-profit organization operating under the Ministry of Information and Communication.

In a statement, the ICCK said a group of psychiatrists in the agency would help those addicted to the Internet, as well as launch a new “Internet Health Management Program” to conduct treatment, counselling and research on addiction to online gambling, cyber pornography and Internet chatting.

`”With the proliferation of high-speed Internet services and personal computers at home and work, Internet addictions have become a major social headache, regardless of age group,'' the statement said.

The agency also plans to undertake training of specialist workforces for the treatment of Internet addiction, through cooperation with several private counselling centres.

No official statistics are available on the number of those addicted to the Internet, but a few teenagers were reported to have stabbed each other due to rows arising from their playing the highly popular online game Lineage, which was developed by NCsoft.

Another report said a middle-aged man has recently been arrested on charges of not paying his bill, after playing an online game at an Internet café for 105 consecutive hours, without even a break for meals.

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