Salvados solo ha sido el último a sumarse a la creciente moda de la “adicción a los teléfonos móviles e internet”, una “adicción” que cada tiene más predicamento entre la sociedad, aunque los profesionales de la salud siguen denunciando como inexistente.

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La adicción a internet que surgió como una broma en un correo electrónico en 1995 se ha convertido en una industria en pleno crecimiento en todo el mundo. ¿Qué hay detrás de aquellos que quieren curarnos una adicción que no existe?

La adicción a internet no existe…

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Hace más de quince años, la catedrática Helena Matute, una de las psicólogas que más y mejor han estudiado las nuevas tecnologías, escribió un texto fundamental que no ha perdido un ápice de actualidadLa adicción a internet no existe“. Como tampoco existe la adicción a los teléfonos móviles.

Desde entonces, sólo el juego patológico (o, en sentido más técnico, los programas de reforzamiento aleatorios) ha pasado a ser considerado una adicción. La primera que no está vinculada directamente a una droga y lo ha sido tras acumular una grandísima cantidad de evidencias científicas.

El resto de “adicciones” (al sexo, a las compras, a internet…) se parecen más a comerse las uñas o a la cleptomanía que a ser adicto a la heroína o cualquier otra droga. Efectivamente, estos trastornos de control de impulsos pueden ocasionar problemas muy serios. Pero no son adicciones, no se tratan como las adicciones y confundirlos no hace más que ocultar el verdadero problema.

…pero la industria contra la adicción a internet sí

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Aunque no hay ninguna ventaja clínica en esto de tratar una ‘utilización excesiva’ como si fuera una adicción, sí que hay una ventaja comercial: las adicciones dan miedo. Y el miedo, la expectativa de ver una vida destruida por la adicción, es un increíble argumento de venta.

A nadie se le escapa que esta ola de clínicas y tratamientos surge básicamente del contagio de la aparición de toda una industria equivalente en Estados Unidos (donde nos llevan décadas de ventaja). Lo que no es tan evidente desde nuestra perspectiva es que, en estos días, el sector de los centros de rehabilitación en Estados Unidos atraviesa una importantísima crisis de legitimidad (y no sólo en EEUU).

La llamada crisis de los opioides y las reformas sanitarias que han asegurado el acceso a estas terapias están llevando a los norteamericanos en masa a las clínicas de rehabilitación. Como consecuencia, la proliferación de fraudes ha hecho que, por primera vez en la historia, la Asociación Norteamericana de Proveedores de Tratamientos de la Adicción creen un código de autorregulación.

El resultado es una industria floreciente que en 2014 movió 35.000 millones de dólares, pero cuyos tratamientos distan mucho de ser efectivos, éticos, respetuosos o basados en la evidencia. La creación de entramados empresariales para tratar adicciones más o menos inventadas era solo cuestión de tiempo.

La cura de la “adicción al móvil” en España y Latinoamérica

Salvados Conectados

Y es eso, precisamente eso, lo que estamos viendo extenderse: modelos y discursos muy atractivos para la opinión pública pero que no tienen respaldo científico. En Estados Unidos podemos encontrar de todo: estancias de una noche, retiros de desintoxicación digital o terapia psicológico (y psicofarmacológica). Y tratamientos que van desde los 500 dólares a los 30.000.

Pero en otros países, los tratamientos también están a la orden del día. La descripción de los tratamientos en China que realizó la BBC hace unos años es realmente terrible. Así que, ¿qué estamos importando exactamente?

Es difícil decirlo, no existen guías clínicas ni recomendaciones sanitarias claras. En España, el psicólogo barcelonés Marc Masip lleva desde 2012 hablando en periódicos, emisoras y platós de televisión sobre adicción a internet, los móviles y las redes sociales. Su programa [email protected] es, con mucha seguridad, el más popular de todos los que han ido surgiendo en el país y es conocido por utilizar métodos poco ortodoxos como atar a los ‘adictos’.

Pero hay muchos más. Solo basta con hacer una pequeña búsqueda por internet para encontrar numerosos gabinetes de psicología que dicen tratar la adicción a internet. Hemos intentado ponernos en contacto con algunos de estos gabinetes y ninguno ha querido hacer declaraciones. Eso sí, coinciden en que es un tratamiento que, aunque no está muy estudiado, se está empezando a ofertar sencillamente porque “hay una gran demanda social”.

¿Qué hay de cierto y qué no en la “adicción a internet” y a sus terapias?

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Por lo que sabemos hasta ahora, la adicción a internet no existe. Y no es una mera cuestión terminológica: estamos hablando de un fenómeno completamente distinto de la adicción. Y es bueno recordarlo porque la precisión y la exactitud en salud es muy importante.

Con la evidencia científica en contra, la insistencia en hablar de adicción a internet solo se explica por un intento de ‘patologizar’ conductas que moralmente no nos gustan y por estrategia empresarial que busca generar alarma social como estrategia comercial.

En psicología, algo es un problema cuando interfiere la vida y los objetivos de las personas. Y en ese sentido, el uso excesivo de internet claro que puede ocasionar grandes problemas y hay profesionales que nos pueden ayudar. Pero si nos centramos en lo ‘adictivo’ esteremos poniendo el foco en lo que causa esa supuesta dependencia (Internet) y no en el problema real, las dificultades de la sociedad para adaptarse a un mundo tecnológicamente nuevo.

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pensamientos de 76 \"Así es la industria que quiere curarnos de nuestra “adicción al teléfono móvil e internet” \"

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