Madrid New inaugurates a public center to treat and investigate video game addiction

Tom Henry

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The behavioral addictions are those that are not related to substance use, but rather stem from a toxic relationship with gambling, compulsive shopping, sex, social media, and even online shopping. video game. To treat and investigate them from a center (public, there were already private clinics oriented to it) specifically designed for it, the Community of Madrid today inaugurated AdCom Madrida device that will be in charge precisely of helping those people with these addiction problems.

Enrique Ruiz Escudero, Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, today inaugurated this Comprehensive Center for Prevention and Research in Behavioral Addictions, which is located at the Gregorio Maran Public Hospital. Two groups of people will be served there: over 18 years old and minors between 12 and 17 years old who come accompanied by their responsible adults. It is now possible to request an appointment through this link and without the need to go through primary care or the mental health center.

Personalized attention after knowing the degree of addiction

After the appointment request, these people will fill out a questionnaires to delimit their degree of addiction and psychological or psychiatric affectation. From there, several paths can be taken, from the appointment in consultation for a more comprehensive evaluationin case the addiction problem affects your mental health, to other forms of help in case there is no addiction as such, including information and training for good behavior. If required, the patient will be offered an individual treatment plan that includes follow-up and psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy both individual and group.

From the Community of Madrid they help to detect cases of behavioral addictions, including video game addiction (recognized as a mental problem by the WHO since 2017), describing them as “those that derive from a habit or behavior seemingly harmlessbut that can become addictive” that “greatly interferes with the family, work or educational and social life of the patient”. It also highlights the need for affected people “to increase the time dedicated to that behavior” and the suffering of “abstinencea great physical and psychological discomfort if for some reason they are deprived of that behavior”.

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A specialized center with an interest in research

Although it is true that it is not the first time that addiction to video games has been recognized and treated by public health (other communities record data about their interventions in this matter), it does highlight the approach to research of AdCom Madrid: from this center it will be carried out: first be analyzed and studied the presence of these disorders in the general population, and subsequently instruments will be created to evaluate themincluding possible clinical trials. All this concluding with research projects on behavioral addiction disorders studied from neuroscience, neuroimaging and genetics for a better understanding.

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