Internet addiction is the latest #diseasetrend sweeping China, and it has Chinese parents so worried that they're drugging their children and taking them to addiction camps … where they, you know, sometimes die.

Internet addiction is the latest #diseasetrend sweeping China, and it has Chinese parents so worried that they're drugging their own children and taking them to internet addiction camps … where they, you know, sometimes die.

Some background …

In China, internet addiction is lovingly referred to as “electronic heroin." As such, China feels it’s the biggest threat to its sensitive teenage population, the likes of which is expected to take over the world in the near future. That's why in 2008, China became one of the first countries to declare an undying love for interwebs an official clinical disorder.

In the great country of China, internet addiction is defined as spending more than six hours a day online doing something other than work or study, and feeling bad when you're unable to access a compute. That clinical definition has thus far spawned the creation of over 250 camps designed for China's 20 million currently addicted youth, who are running wild (on Kinect), checking their Twitters a lot all creepy like and binging on WiFi.

In internet addiction land, social media is just a gateway drug. The real good shit is gaming, which is the heroin of addictive internet behavior. Apparently, some gaming addicts get so hopped up on Minesweeper that they wear diapers so they can shit themselves without getting up for a bathroom break.

Naturally, Chinese parents are a teensy bit worried about that trend.

“Parents look to [the camps] as a kind of last resort for reforming their children, especially if it’s one child, the only child that they have, and giving them a chance to break their addiction to internet games and hopefully then return to school and become more academically capable,” said Eric Harwit, professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii.

“I think China and especially Chinese parents take education very seriously,” he continued. “They saw a lot of teenagers, especially young male students, start to lose interest in school and devote much of their time to Internet gaming.”

In fact, Harwit said the parents of internet-addicted kids are so are desperate to cure their offspring, that they'll even drug them to take them to the treatment camps. Holy Mortal Kombat.

“Most of the kids were forced to come there, they didn’t know where they were going,” said Hilla Medalia, co-director of Web Junkie, a documentary about China's e-addict camps. “Some of them were drugged, one of our kids thought he was going skiing and found himself behind bars at the center.”

A typical internet addict teen will spend between three and four months at one of these camps receiving treatment, which involves rigorous exercises, medication and therapy to rinse the stain of Grand Theft Auto off those kids souls. Sometimes, patients are also placed in isolation for as long as 10 days. There are no showers (?) and they wake up at the crack of dawn to not poke their friends on Facebook. Joseph Stalin would be proud?

But camp officials believe the harsh conditions provide the discipline that the patients need. They even encourage parents to stay at the camps, and patient's families often participate in medical consultations.

But given the harsh disciplinary conditions suffered by teens in the camps, who could be surprised by the fact that a lot of them die there? In 2010 two camp instructors beat a 15-year-old to death. The two received “up to” 10 years in prison, according to the report. In June of last year, a 19-year-old girl died after being repeatedly dropped on the ground by instructors at a camp in Henan province. Another girl apparently died after being forced to do extreme exercises on a cold floor for two hours.

The success rate of these camps is usually around 70 percent, although recidivism is highly prevalent because the internet is inside us all at this point. Unlike other narcotics, you need it all day every day for jobs and school and finding people who will watch your rat terrier while you're out of own at the erotic breath-play conference.

 The true test of the camps’ success comes when the participants leave the camps and return to their homes or schools where the internet is always waiting, always beckoning you to Pinterest "fun ideas for barn weddings."

China is not the only country grappling with internet addiction though.  The New York Times reported that “up to 30 percent of South Koreans under 18, or about 2.4 million people, are at risk of Internet addiction.” South Korea also has opened well over 100 rehabilitation centers for those suffering from addiction.

The US, on the other hand, is pretty  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about the situation. Currently, there is one internet addiction research center with four beds for ailing serial Craigslisters in Pennsylvania to accommodate for our 1.5 – 8.2 percent addiction rate. We're just hope that the Rooster site is responsible for some of those.

And now! To fuel your addiction, here's a little video on internet addiction to heighten your insatiable cravings.