social media addiction
Person checks social media apps on phone. (Photo credit: Fin DePencier)

As more Canadian parents seek help for their children for gaming and social media addiction, experts continue to struggle over a definition and treatment for the condition. 

Quebec is the only province to publicly fund cyber addiction care. But pricey private rehab centres have opened across the country, for those who can afford it.

One of them is Venture Academy, which offers adolescents residential treatment at centres in Alberta and Ontario. Joshua Montgomery, CEO of the academy, said they have seen the number of patients admitted for electronic addiction more than double in the last five years, from almost one in four, to half their clients.

“I was just reviewing an application the other day. The youth becomes very aggressive when they try to take his electronics away or limit his use of online activities,” said Montgomery. “While we're not diagnosing at the application process, it becomes very evident that there is a behavioural addiction to electronics.” 

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Hadassah Alencar is a bilingual journalist based near Montreal. She recently completed the journalism program at Concordia University, where she worked as a teaching assistant and became editor-in-chief...