Man treated for Google Glass addiction

Doctors wrote in the journal Addictive Behaviors a man exhibiting alcohol-like withdrawal symptoms was suffering from an addiction to his Google Glass headset.

By Ben Hooper
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A man exhibiting withdrawal symptoms at a California addiction treatment center was found to be addicted to Google Glass, doctors said.

Doctors at the U.S. Navy's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program in San Diego wrote in the journal Addictive Behaviors the 31-year-old U.S. service member was checked in to the program during the summer and was exhibiting symptoms that were initially misdiagnosed as alcohol-related.


The doctors said they soon found the man's withdrawal symptoms stemmed from his addiction to his Google Glass headset, which he told doctors he had been wearing for up to 18 hours per day.

Dr. Andrew Doan, head of addictions and resilience research at Naval Medical Center San Diego and a co-author of the paper, told NBC News the man reported his withdrawal symptoms from Google Glass were "much worse" than his withdrawals from alcohol.

"When the therapist would ask him a question, he would have this repeated movement of placing his index finger to the right side of face, similar to trying to turn on the Glass," Doan said.

Doan said the man completed the 35-day treatment program and is now following up with outpatient care.


The doctor said it is only a matter of time before "internet addiction" and similar conditions are listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

"People used to believe alcoholism wasn't a problem -- they blamed the person or the people around them," Doan told The Guardian. "It's just going to take a while for us to realize that this is real."

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