We’re quickly getting technology addicts – and the habit begins early. For years parents have been worried about their children developing drug or alcohol problems. It started perhaps when they watched too much TV, however there’s much more available now than just a few TV channels like the BBC. However recent studies have revealed that for many the problem is in a much more benign form – technology.
Research indicates teens may be so glued to their telephones, televisions and tablets which they no longer have time to get alcohol and drugs. The tendency has been building for a decade and specialists think that technology can offer young people with a similar kick to experimentation with drugs.
Teens’ use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol in America has diminished considerably and prices are at their lowest since the 1990s, based on results from the annual Monitoring the Future study.
Considerably fewer adolescents reported using any illicit drug aside from marijuana in the previous 12 months – 5 percent, 10 per cent and 14 percent in 14, 15 and 16-year-olds respectively – compared anytime since 1991, according to the report.
The percentage of secondary school pupils in the US who used any illicit drug in the previous year dropped appreciably between 2015 and 2016.
Anti-drug campaigns are mostly deemed a failed venture that has led investigators to think that mobiles are currently giving teens so much stimulation they are not as inclined to find alcohol and drugs. This has been helped by some developments in treatments for both drug problems and alcohol abuse. Some Norwegian clinical trials of The Sinclair Method which uses a drug called Selincro – read about it here, have reported successful results of nearly 80%.
Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse expects to learn more about the connection between the decrease in medication and the increase of technologies to find whether there’s causation – rather than only correlation – between the two.
‘Something is happening,’ she told New York Times.
‘Teens can become actually high when playing with these matches’, she explained, describing interactive websites as ‘a different reinforcer’.
Smartphones are so brand new to our own lives investigators are only beginning to understand how they’re altering our brains.
Dr Nicholas Kardaras is a major psychotherapist, dependence expert and senior clinical adviser at the Dunes East Hampton, among the world’s leading rehab components.
He explained: ‘Screen timing is “electronic heroin” for kids — especially those below ten.
‘Some accuse me of scaremongering for comparing it to addictive substances like drugs and tobacco. However, I have treated patients using crystal meth issues and will tell you it is more difficult to find someone on a digital dependence. Unlike illegal drugs, displays are everywhere.
‘It is not only kids, however. The normal age for a video game enthusiast is 35. But children are especially at risk from displays since the pre-frontal cortex — our character centre — does not finish developing until their early 20s’, ” he explained.
A research by Indiana University asked teens who did not normally play video games to perform to get a fortnight.
‘In this brief time period, mind pictures before and after revealed changes in the frontal cortex which mirrored chemical dependency’, said Dr Kardarassaid