Medical professionals: Fortnite can be as addictive as heroin


Medical professionals say video games like the popular Fortnite can be as addictive as heroin and even get in the way of your child's brain development.

Some parents tell NBC Charlotte it's taken over their homes and their kids' lives.

"I would describe it as obsessive," mother Maureen Link said. "It’s all they wanted to do. They didn't want to do anything else, didn't want to do homework, didn't want to do anything outside the house."

In Greensboro, North Carolina, one teen admitted to continuing to play the game even as a tornado swept through his neighborhood.

"I was sitting at home and I was playing Fortnite, and all of sudden, I hear a bunch of noise," Anton Williams told WXII. "I look out the window and I started seeing the roof come off the houses in front of me. I sit back down because I only have a couple people left in my game, and I was going to try to finish the game, but then it started getting worse and I started to see the power lines come down."

Only then did he tell his sister and nephew to go with him into the bathroom to take shelter.

Chris McCarthy is a counselor who specializes in working with teenage boys.

“The thing about these games is it gets their dopamine systems involved releases addictive chemicals, very similar to a drug addiction. It literally causes cravings they can’t live without it they just get obsessed with it," McCarthy said.

Get more on this story from NBC Charlotte.