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Surprising similarities between drug and technology addictions

Surprising similarities between drug and technology addictions

We have all witnessed people who seem to be constantly fixated on their cell phone, computer or other technological device. A study conducted by The Telegraph has determined that college students the world round have admitted to being heavily dependent on technology, such as laptops, mobile phones and TV, as well as social networking platforms. Nearly 1,000 students from different countries stated that they were unable to avoid using their gizmos for even a day. Nearly four in five of these students noted that they experienced great physical and mental strain as a result. Other responses such as isolation and confusion were also noted.

Similarities in addictions

The study demonstrated that there could be psychological similarities in different forms of addiction, such as drug addiction and technological addiction. Some believe that addiction to technology should be treated as a legitimate mental illness. However, at the present time, it is not listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But the American Psychological Association believes that more evidence is needed in order to prove that this is a legitimate addiction.

According to CBS, another study in an issue of PLOS ONE has demonstrated that serious dependence on the internet could lead to changes in the brain similar to those facing drug or alcohol dependence. Those shown to have a more serious internet addiction also often showed more unusual white matter in their brain. The differences showed greater interruptions of pathways related to making decisions, self-control and emotions. These brain changes have also been shown in those who abuse different illicit drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, ketamine and meth.

Using technology to fuel substance abuse

Of course, another option is to use the internet to illegally obtain controlled substances. The darknet marketplaces have been a haven for drug-dealing websites such as Silk Road on the net. Although, Silk Road and its subsequent avatars were shut down by law enforcement agencies, numerous other similar websites filled the deadly void. Some users have been arrested following large purchases that have been made on these websites. Yet, it should come as no surprise that a person who has problems with substance abuse could be desperate and willing to take such risks.


Despite the fact that some health professionals are still not convinced that technology addiction is a legitimate illness, there are still clear treatment options available for those that are seeking help. Such patients have been shown to benefit from individual counseling with an addiction specialist. The person can learn how to train himself toward decisions that promote a healthier lifestyle. Medication can also be prescribed as appropriate in certain cases. Additionally, there are support groups that are focused on this form of dependence as well. Online Gamers Anonymous or OGA is one such 12-step group that exists.

In the future, if technology addiction is eventually considered to be a legitimate condition, then those who experience this and dependence to illicit drugs could receive a dual diagnosis. Such cases can often take a special level of dedication on the part of the patients due to their more complex nature. One of the more common problems that can occur is that the symptoms of only one disorder will be effectively treated in such cases, as opposed to both. Hopefully, the patients can be committed to lasting recovery so that they can live a more manageable, healthier lifestyle.

Detox is essential to recovery, but it is only the first step in the process: completing an entire rehab program is the most effective way for users to achieve and maintain sobriety. The Colorado Detox Helpline is committed to assisting those experience illicit drug dependences, as well as its associated dangers and drawbacks. For more information on how we can help you begin an appropriate individualized treatment plan today, please contact us at 866-730-5807.

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