Now countless young people are falling victim to a new form of addiction - one centered around spending hours online. When it comes to treating this new addiction, some parents have taken extreme measures, including sending their children to a military style bootcamp. But with a rash of deaths and injuries reported at these rehab centres, concerns are growing about whether the treatment is working.
One death and another seriously injured is what has happened at this Internet addiction rehab camp. The two victims, both teenagers, were forced to undergo extreme physical training for two hours which eventually led to the tragedy.
"She was forced to do the exercises on the cold floor, everyone in the camp could hear her cry. But slowly she became quiet. The instructor saw that she was bleeding, but thought she was pretending to be injured and forced her to drink a large amount of water," the father of one of the victims said.
The camp's deputy director quickly defended the institution, saying it was all part of normal procedures for treating addictions.
Police have arrested five people in connection with the death at the rehab camp. The facility has also suspended its operations.
This is not the first time someone has died at an Internet addiction treatment center. A 16-year-old was beaten to death at an addiction camp in Nanning in 2009.
China is the first country that has declared Internet addiction a serious health issue.
Hundreds of Internet addiction rehab camps are in operation across China, many of which are run illegally with little oversight. With the growing number of deaths and injuries due to the harsh conditions patients endure at these rehab centers, many are now calling into question whether the treatment is actually doing more harm than good.