Recovery Unscripted Podcast - Episode 19

Featured Guest: Cam Adair, Founder, Game Quitters

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For today’s show, my guest is Cam Adair, founder of GameQuitters.com, the world’s largest support community for video game addiction. Since its formation only two years ago, the community has quickly grown to serve 20,000 members a month from 79 countries and counting. Cam joined me at the Innovations in Recovery conference in San Diego to share how he developed Game Quitters’ pioneering detox and treatment program and address the skepticism that many people have about video game addiction being a legitimate concern.

When Adair says he understands the negative effects that compulsive video gaming can have on someone’s life, he means it. He’s lived through it first-hand. “While all my friends were off to college, I was living at home in my parents’ basement playing video games up to 16 hours a day,” Adair recalls. “I was pretending to have jobs, deceiving my family, super depressed. And it eventually came to a point I actually wrote a suicide note, and that’s the night when I really realized I need to make a change.”

Adair decided to share his struggle with video game addiction online in a post that quickly received 1600 responses from people all over the world who were going through parallel experiences. After getting similar feedback for a TEDx Talk he presented on video game addiction, Adair decided to do something about it. “Eventually I came to a point where I realized I had a responsibility to help these people because I have a unique ability to understand it because I went through it and they deserved help,” Adair says in this interview. “So we launched GameQuitters.com.”

Rather than being a deterrent, the skepticism that many people in the clinical community have about video game addiction actually fuels Adair’s passion for leading the fight against video game addiction at a grassroots level. “That was part of the reason why I started doing the work I was doing, because I was tired of sitting around waiting for some random organization to give us validation that this was a problem,” Adair explains. “If you go on our community right now…people are saying that they’re struggling. And whether we need to classify or diagnose them as an ‘addict’ or not, we can be able to help them when they’re asking for help.”

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