‘This game is like heroin:’ Fortnite addiction sending kids to gaming rehab

Parents who feel they're fighting a losing battle against Fortnite are turning to addiction treatment programs. (Photo: Epic Games)

Parents who are losing the battle against their children’s Fortnite addiction are turning to professionals.

Desperate to see some semblance of the child they had before the post-apocalyptic shooter game, parents are forcing kids into rehab, reports Bloomberg.

Played by more than 200 million users, the Epic Games Inc. creation is free to play yet has made at least $1.2 billion on the sale of the V-Bucks, the in-game currency.

MORE: ‘Fortnite’ survey shows kids are playing in class. So what can parents do?

It’s also costing kids sleep, decent grades and a normal life, the story said. British behavioral specialist Lorrine Marer, who works with kids battling gaming addiction, told Bloomberg:

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

Carson’s story

Fortnite (Photo: Epic Games)

Michigan mom Debbie Vitany said in the article that her son Carson, 17, has been logging into play Fortnite up to 12 hours a day. 

His grades have nose-dived. And teachers have complained he’s fallen asleep in 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,” Vitany said. “I’ve never seen a game that has such control over kids’ minds.”

People ask, “What about parenting?” 

I have three daughters. One is absolutely hooked on Fortnite. 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.

So, I join the parents who say the game has a hold on children. And, yet, I also agree with the cries of JUST PARENT ALREADY.

Like most things in life, the issues surrounding Fortnite’s pull are complicated. 

While I believe parents need to do whatever it takes so their kids aren’t playing 12 hours a day, including throwing the game and console in the trash, I also know this: 

Sometimes parents and their children need a little professional help to solve their problems. And that’s never wrong. 

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