Teenage Cell Phone Addicts Are being Sent to Rehab

An epidemic that's sweeping South Korea has turned 98 percent of its teen population into addicts, resulting in falling grades, problems at home and overfilled rehab facilities. But the thing that's destroying the country's youth isn't a drug.

Cell phone addiction has become a real thing in South Korea, where all but two percent of teens own smartphones -- the highest percentage in the world.

Last year, about 30 percent of children between 10 and 19 were diagnosed as "overdependent" and sent to government-run rehab centers to help them overcome their addictions.

Yoo Jae-ho, whose daughter is currently being treated, says her cell phone phone addiction resulted in her cutting off all communication with the rest of her family. "There wasn't much conversation among the family," he says.

"If I talked to her about her phone, there would be an argument." The results of cell phone rehab have been mixed.

One girl who successfully completed the program says, "Before, even if I thought in my head that I should stop, I couldn't. But now, if I want to stop, I'm able to stop right away."

However, she notes her two rehab roommates went right back to their old habits the moment they were released. Does it sound like South Korea's teens have a more serious addiction than U.S. teens do, or are they just making a bigger deal out of it? What problems can cell phone addiction lead to?

Ayydé

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