Helping online addicts get 'high' on real life

File photo of the popular Pokemon Go video game on a smartphone. Young people who face gaming addiction often lack outdoor exposure, self-esteem and social skills.
File photo of the popular Pokemon Go video game on a smartphone. Young people who face gaming addiction often lack outdoor exposure, self-esteem and social skills.PHOTO: ST FILE

Showing how real life can give an even better "high" than video games or social media is a method counsellors use to help online addicts cut down on their use of digital devices.

Ms Andrea Chan, senior counsellor at Touch Youth Intervention, said: "Often, the reasons for the youth's excessive Internet or smartphone usage are social relationships and/or the immersion experience online."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2018, with the headline 'Helping online addicts get 'high' on real life'. Subscribe