The number of people in Sussex addicted to the internet is on the rise.

Psychiatrists in the county are helping to treat a growing number of computer and mobile phone users who cannot tear themselves away from the web.

Experts fear that a generation of young people who have grown up with the internet may be stocking up potential health problems for the future.

Hove-based consultant psychiatrist David Keating, said: “This is a 21st century addiction. “I have noticed an increase in the number of people coming to me who recognise they have a problem and want to do something about it.

“Health professionals have been seeing this develop over the past five years and it is something we fully expect to increase in years to come.”

The technological explosion that has led to the widespread use of smartphones, laptops and tablet devices means people can get access to the internet no matter where they are.

Hundreds of thousands of people across Sussex are using the internet every day but experts fear some are now beginning to use it to an extent that is becoming unhealthy.

Cases in recent months have included one person who developed a dangerous addiction to pornography, while another needed help after spending more than 15 hours a day on a gambling site.

Dr Keating, an addiction specialist at The Priory clinic in Hove, said the problem generally affected young adults and some middle-aged people, but believes teenagers and children who have grown up with the internet are at risk as well.

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