Parents of teenagers are understandably some of the most concerned members of society when it comes to the dangers of addiction. If you’re a parent of a teenager, making the top of your list of worries is that your son or daughter will become addicted to opioids or other hard drugs, requiring you to find a drug detox center with the right resources and staff to help. While this is no doubt the most dangerous kind of addiction facing teens, it’s not the only one. And while the more technologically-based addictions are absent the risk of overdose or death, they can certainly contribute to a diminished quality of life for your teenager.
The internet has brought an endless amount of resources to millions of people who use it. Most people have some self-control over the amount of time that they spend online. However, many teens don’t have jobs or any major obligations, so they have a lot of free time to surf the web.
Additionally, there is certain website content, including pornography and gambling, that are known to lead to addictions. To combat this problem, most internet browsers have features that block certain content or websites. Some software programs are made for parents to monitor and restrict their kids’ usage of the internet.
Playing video games is a favorite pastime for countless teenagers. Playing an enjoyable game is naturally addictive on its own. Nowadays, gaming addictions have gotten worse because today’s games have more realistic graphics and more complex storylines. Games are also much easier to access thanks to smartphones and the internet. While there remains no evidence video games are linked to violent behavior and social deviance, it’s safe to say they can consume a teenager’s life to the point of affecting it negatively
Most teens have time to spend countless hours watching television. The types of programs are not always approved by their parents either. Watching TV has become more attractive with the additional options to record shows and pay for on-demand movies.
What amounts to a portable mini-computer connected to the internet as well as providing all the functions of a traditional cellular phone, it’s easy to see why teens spend a lot of time using their smartphones. This high level of usage can quickly turn into something on the order of an addiction. Parents need to be sensitive to the signs of smartphone addiction in their teenagers.
Social Media Sites
Teens love to converse on social media websites using emails and instant messengers. They like to meet new people on these sites, upload pictures and post the latest messages about their activities. However, social media has become a source of cyberbullying that is rampant among young people. Also, teens may spend hours talking to people who they know and others who are strangers.
Solutions for Addicted Teens
Sending your kid to rehab is one way to deal with an addiction. Modern rehab centers have evolved to treat all types of addictions besides substance abuse. All rehabs have doctors and medical experts available on demand along with counseling, medication and detox services.
Families who don’t want to send their addicted teens away have other options. They can try restricting access to the source that is causing the addiction. They can also reinforce the bad addictive behaviors with more positive addictive behaviors. For instance, parents can encourage their kids to pursue other positive activities, such as sports or volunteering, that they would enjoy doing instead.
Technology has changed the definition of addiction for the worse. Now, there is a growing problem with teens and addiction, and it’s not all about drug and alcohol abuse either. Fortunately, getting your child help is no longer difficult or a taboo subject. There are possibilities for any child to recover from addiction.