Parents Sending Kids To Gaming Rehab For ‘Fortnite’ Addiction, Say Game Is ‘Like Heroin’

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Parents are known to have a tough time with their kids when it comes to video games, and one game which is contributing a lot to their headache these days is Fortnite, a post-apocalyptic shooter game published by Epic Games, which is turning out to be one of the most addictive games ever, reports USA Today.

Played by nearly 200 million users, the free game has gone on to rake in $1.2 billion on the sale of the V-Bucks, the in-game currency. Parents are getting increasingly worried about the symptoms displayed by the game’s addicts, forcing many of them to turn into professionals. They are now beginning to send their children to rehab to get treatment for their Fortnite addiction. Kids who are addicted to the game often times display the same symptoms as other video game addicts, which include strange sleeping patterns, a not-so-great performance in academics, and a socially inhibited life.

British behavioral specialist Lorrine Marer went so far as to declare Fortnite the “heroin” for kids, comparing the game’s addictive power as being similar to the dreaded opioid.

“This game is like heroin. Once you are hooked, it’s hard to get unhooked.”

There is a host of parents now suffering from a confusion of how to treat this unusual addiction that is now plaguing their kids. One such mom, Debbie Vitany, has seen her 17-year-old son Carson play up to 12 hours of Fortnite every day. She complains of Carson not only displaying odd behavior but suffering in school after falling to sleep during class.

“We’d made some progress in getting him to cut down his Fortnite hours and get better sleep, but he’s slipped back into his old habits. I’ve never seen a game that has such control over kids’ minds.”

Even the writer of the article in USA Today, Sonja Haller, wrote that she is worried about Fortnite addiction, especially as is the mother of three daughters. She advised parents to also act tough on the matter and if need be, turn to specialists to look for professional advice.

“My 12-year-old has lost her electronic device privileges for a week for failure to call it quits when I say. She has been threatened, yelled at, badgered, and the WiFi has been cut to the whole house more times than I can count because of THAT game.”

It appears like it is not only kids suffering from the game’s addiction. Earlier this week there were reports that professional soccer player for Arsenal, Mesut Ozil, had to be forced to sit out games after suffering from a back problem reportedly arising out of Fortnite addiction.