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FDA classifies internet as an addictive substance

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SILVER SPRING — A spokesperson for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration released a statement on Monday warning Americans about a powerful modern drug with the potential to poison our minds and bodies: it’s called Internet.

“We know it’s difficult to define what is pure Interweb [sic] and what is produced by the powerful ideological cartel known as the World Wide Web,” said Bob Loblaw, attorney spokesperson for the agency. “Either way, Americans everywhere are hooked on this Internet thing– and it’s only been widely available for a few decades. We at the FDA are looking into implementing new policies surrounding what kids these days refer to as ‘Cloud’, and I expect the process will look similar to the regulation of other highly addictive substances like cigarettes. Tobacco companies have to adhere to strict rules, so why shouldn’t Internet providers?”

New public service announcements are being drafted to warn consumers of the dangers of the drug. Policymakers want you to know there is an incalculable risk Internet exposure; the Surgeon General has issued a warning outlining the addictive nature of Internet, or what is colloquially called ‘Web,’ ‘Line,’ ‘Cloud,’ and ‘Hyperspace.’

“Internet will soon be officially classified as a Schedule 2 drug, which means it has a high abuse potential but there are a few medical applications. We’ve analyzed the harmful effects of the substance and found Internet users exhibit many signs of DSM IV addictive behaviors. My colleagues and I are working to classify it as a controlled substance, much like mixed amphetamine salts or Adderall, or benzodiazepines like Ativan or Xanax. Like amphetamines or benzodiazepines, Internet can be therapeutic and medically useful for some patients when prescribed and highly monitored by a licensed physician. The general public, however, is highly susceptible to its dangerous side effects, and access to the drug should be controlled before it gets out of hand,” said Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in an interview with The Phoenix.

The long term effects of Internet abuse are still to be determined; studies have shown Internet addicts can have withdrawal symptoms, such as increased anxiety, restless hands and fingers, and potentially life-threatening psychological issues like constant boredom and ennui. Treatment is available, however, and Internet addiction can be overcome after taking the necessary harm-reductive precautions. The FDA urges anti-drug organizations, such as D.A.R.E., to include Internet abuse in their curricula due to the steady increase in American users in the past decade. The best way to quit, the federal agency reminds us, is cold turkey. Resisting the urge to use Internet to research the origins of the phrase ‘cold turkey’ is the first step to recovery.

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