First Croatian Internet Addiction Clinic Opens in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić opened a day clinic for Internet, videogames and gambling addiction as part of Sveti Ivan Psychiatric Hospital in Jankomir on April 10. The clinic is the first of its kind in Croatia.

“These are stressful and difficult times we live in and people sometimes lose control and come apart at the seams. Addiction is an escape from reality and it often damages family relations and results in an unhealthy social environment. A day hospital will help these people help themselves.” Mayor Bandić said.

“The fact is that Internet has permeated our lives and we spend less and less time with each other. Japan and China have had cases of Internet and social network addiction so severe that they resulted in death. Many addicts do not realize that they have a problem until they affect their work or their marriage because their Internet activities pose problems in all spheres of their lives.” Igor Filipčić, Sveti Ivan Psychiatric Hospital director, said, adding that a person is considered an Internet addict if he or she spends more than five hours online, ignoring their obligations and activities.

He explained that a day hospital is not a typical psychiatric institution with beds where patients spend their days while they are receiving treatment. “Patients come in in the morning and spend their day attending different therapy groups with doctors, psychologists and social pedagogues. They are immersed in modern treatment programmes which are proven to be efficient for these types of addiction. An average treatment time is from one up to three months.”

It is believed that that 11% of the population in Croatia, or 400,000 persons, is affected by Internet addiction.


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