Algeria opens first internet addiction clinic in the country

The Bahir Menturi Clinic in Constantine, Algeria, has launched the country's first rehabilitation program for people with Internet addiction.

The clinic pays special attention to compulsive users of social networks. Since its launch in May 2016, more than a hundred people aged 15 to 40 have joined the program. In the most severe cases, patients practically could not get away from the Internet, even to eat or take a shower. Among the external consequences of the disorder, doctors note head and back pain, aggressiveness and anxiety if the patient is not given the opportunity to go online.

In addition to therapy, the clinic also runs a public education campaign aimed at drawing attention to an urgent problem. Algeria has a high youth unemployment rate, with only 25% of people under the age of 24 in any job. Often, the only place young people can get together is in 24/7 internet cafes, which further exacerbates the problem.

The assistance program includes music and physical therapy, as well as meditations and group and individual sessions with a psychologist. The hospital receives all funding for the project from the state.