According to this study, this habit is more addicting than drugs

According to this study, this habit is more addicting than drugsWhen you think of addiction, substances like drugs and alcohol probably come to mind first.

However, the American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as an “inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.”

This could accurately describe someone with a drug or alcohol addiction. It could also describe someone unable to control their impulse to shop, game, gamble, or use the internet.

Social media in particular is a growing problem in countries around the world, including the United States. It’s not surprising, considering statistics estimate that 68 percent of adults in the United States used Facebook almost daily in 2016, and use of other social media platforms fell close behind.

The trouble is, experts worry that social media addiction could be worse than an addiction to alcohol or drugs, mainly because there’s little to no stigma surrounding excessive social media use. Not only does using it reward your brain’s pleasure centers — it also rewards you socially via endless likes, comments, and shares.

Thankfully, more people are seeking out treatment for their addictions to the internet and social media, just like they might any other addiction problem.

Some health professionals host weekend or week-long ‘detox retreats’ to help people learn to use their phones responsibly. However, it’s important to note that, like any other addiction, dependence on social media or smartphones in general can take six months to a year or longer to get under control.

Mindfulness is also a practice commonly used to train people to depend less on interacting with various forms of social media.

Professionals are doing their best to teach people how to interact with all forms of social media in a socially acceptable manner. The same way teens must be taught to drive before they are allowed to navigate the road on their own, many psychologists believe people should be taught to interact with their phones and social channels in general to avoid developing addictive behaviors.

If you’re concerned you or someone you know lives with a social media addiction, there are steps you can take to get help. You don’t have to quit social media completely. But you can learn to control and make the most of your time spent online.


Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.

 

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