Staying online longer than intended?
Neglecting school or work responsibilities?
Spending more time with online friends than with real world friends?
Arguing with others about computer/phone/video game use?
Feeling guilty about the amount of time spent online?
Unsuccessfully trying to cut back on online use?
Lying about online activity?
Feeling anxious or irritable when online time is cut short?
Neglecting sleep, diet, and exercise to spend time online?
These are all common signs of a rapidly growing problems in modern society. A problem that is especially prevalent among adolescents. This problem of course is digital addiction.
We at Logan River Academy (LRA) know that digital media use is part of daily life for teenagers or young adults in the real world. From laptops at school, to cell phones in your pocket, to video games with friends after school, the digital world is inescapable. However, much like many other things in life, moderation is the key.
Through our DART program (Digital Addiction Recovery Treatment) we can help students struggling with this problem learn to live their lives with digital media, instead of letting digital media continue to run their lives.
The DART program is built largely around the Restore Recovery™ model of Dr. Kimberly Young. Dr. Young is the founder of the Center for Internet Addiction & Recovery and is one of the pioneers for assessment and treatment of internet addiction disorders. Dr. Young defines internet addiction as:
“any online-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.”
Here at LRA, we use the term Digital Addiction to include any use of online-based technology that negatively interferes with and impacts a student’s life. This can include:
• video gaming
• social media
• entertainment or streaming services
• texting and messaging
• online shopping/auctions
Our approach at LRA utilizes a harm-reduction model that strives to provide digitally addicted adolescents with the support and resources they need to bring balance back to their digital lives. The approach focuses on 4 critical areas of digital addiction treatment: assessment, evaluation, goal setting, and education and action. We have found this approach to be very successful in helping adolescents gain a better handle on this ever-present issue in today’s society and return their lives to a healthy, more functional place. Through this comprehensive approach, we can address the root causes of digital addiction. We help our students develop strategies to control their lives day-to-day, and implement actions that will keep electronic compulsions and propensities from controlling their lives.