A clinic to treat people with gaming disorders will open in Abu Dhabi in 2020.
In 2018, ‘gaming addiction’ was added to a list of International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organisation, defined as, “a pattern of gaming behaviour (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
An outpatient ward, open to both Emiratis and expats in the National Rehabilitation Centre will open next year.
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The announcement follows the move by the WHO to list gaming as a disease in 2018 and will support the huge number of gamers in the UAE/ The clinic will serve both Emiratis and experts according to Dr. Hamad Al Ghaferi, Director -General of the NRC, via Wam.ae
“The NRC is welcoming all patients [who are addicted to any behaviour] to come and seek help from us. Gaming addiction is mainly a behavioural issue and we are building the capacity and training our workforce to deal with any sort of addictive behaviours” – Dr. Hamad Al Ghaferi
Currently, the NRC has not treated any cases, however, the aim is to raise awareness and start a dialogue with families if a problem arises.
The NRC has been offering treatment for alcoholism, substance abuse and other behavioural addictions since 2002, according to the report.