Some Americans are Internet addicts: Stanford study

Are we a nation of Internet addicts? Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine think that some of us are. In a telephone-based study, researchers say one out of eight Americans showed signs of excessive Internet use. They also concluded that the typical addict is a single white male who spends approximately 30 hours a week surfing the net.

2,513 adults nationwide were surveyed and researchers found that 68.9 percent were regular Internet users. Out of the Internet users, 13.7 percent said they had a hard time staying away from the Internet for more than a few days. Another 12.4 percent said they stayed online longer than intended. Some 5.9 percent felt their Internet usage was hurting their real-life relationships.

Lead researcher Elias Aboujaude, MD, a clinical assistant professor in psychiartry and behavioral sciences, says people are increasingly visiting doctors for compulsively using the Internet to chat or check email. This, according to Aboujaude, is similar to what is experienced by substance abuse patients.