NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Nearly half of all Americans are now using a smart phone. We sometimes joke about how 'addicting' these devices can be. It turns out, that may not be far from the truth.
New research shows those with a serious addiction to the internet present similar brain irregularities to those who are battling an addiction to alcohol or drugs.
In a new study, Chinese researchers gave a group of teenage internet addicts MRI's.
According to the findings, those teens had similar brain abnormalities as those who were addicted to drugs or alcohol.
What's not clear is if those irregularities occurred before the on-set of the addiction, or after.
Either way, Theresa Finer, an addiction counselor, says it is reason for concern.
Finer says signs of addiction can include: Feeling out of control, having a behavior that severely gets in the way of work, school, and social interactions, and feeling the need to do that behavior more and more.