Health Experts Warn That Fortnite Is As Addicting As Heroin

We’ve talked a bit before about Fortnite and how it’s basically taken over the gaming world. This game is a juggernaut, and the obsession shows no signs of slowing down. To date, it has amassed nearly 80 million regular players. It appeals to kids and adults alike, and it’s free, which contributes to its popularity. But we’ve also heard stories of Fortnite addiction, and how parents are struggling to reign in their kid’s involvement in the game. There’s nothing wrong with video games, per se. However, when a video game becomes more than a form of entertainment, it becomes a problem. When it comes to Fortnite, experts fear this may be the case.

In fact, some experts warn that a Fortnite addiction is as strong as an addiction to heroin for some players.

Last month, we saw reports that Fortnite was responsible for the end of at least 200 marriages. That’s … worrisome. But even more concerning is how Fortnite is grabbing hold of younger players, particularly tweens and teens. The report on Fortnite addiction that has everyone talking comes from ABC 8 out of Richmond, VA. Health experts spoke to the news channel about game and how it can be as addicting as heroin. It can even impact brain development in children.

Experts say that playing games like Fortnite can trigger the release of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and one of its functions plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Chemicals like dopamine are very addictive, and can mimic a drug addiction in many ways. Experts note that “it literally causes cravings that they can’t live without, and they just get obsessed with it.”

Many of the subjects tested by experts for this report were teenage boys.

One boy did not stop playing the game even as tornadoes ripped through his family’s neighborhood. Family members were only able to pry him away from the game after power lines came down and he lost his connection to Fortnite.

This is just one example of a Fortnite addiction, and it’s obviously on the extreme end of the spectrum. This is not to say that letting your children play Fortnite is going to result in them living on the streets or completely losing touch with reality and life. But as with any video game, it’s so important to monitor their playing, and put some firm boundaries in place.

It’s a fun game, and it can be beneficial in a lot of ways! But too much of anything can go wrong, very quickly.

(Image: Facebook / Fortnite)

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