Rehab Clinics say our Smartphone Dependencies Fuel Other Addictions

/ 2 years ago


Morningside Recovery rehab clinic’s executive director (Joel Edwards) has recently made some comments claiming mobile phone addiction is making some of our bad habits even worse.

As we learned, Edwards stated:

“The smartphone is the tool that helps exacerbate that addiction or it’s a tool they use not to deal with that addiction”

There is no denying that smartphones have well and truly become a part of our everyday lives. As according to a study conducted by comScore in May, roughly 169 million Americans currently own a smartphone and nearly two-thirds of people are living without a traditional ‘land line’ wired phone. This being a 6% rise in smartphone usage since February 2014.

With this data in mind, Edwards commented:

“We’re dealing with more and more smartphones as part of the underlying issues. These technologies are driving addictions faster and with more intensity than ever before”

Substance addictions are one of the most publically common issues being supported through smartphone use. Edwards went on to mention a few specific examples as we learned thanks to Market Watch, with one of these being drug related. Thanks to new technology, substance addicted users can simply ask ‘Siri’ for assistance:

“I’m in Newport Beach looking for tar or 420” — refers to black tar heroin and cannabis, Edwards adds, but those code words for drugs will go over the heads of most people.”

Smart phones are also said to play a part in behavioural addictions. Things like gaming, social networking, pornography and sex are all included as according to Restart Life‘s co-founder Hilarie Cash. Restart life is responsible for looking after treatment of males over the age of 18 and provides a digital free retreat for between 35 to 90 days to help improve social skills. 95% of Restart Life’s clients are said to have a gaming addiction, but there are also other issues including pornography and social networking generally present.

In extreme circumstances some users can suffer major anxiety issues surrounding their smartphone. Although smartphones can often be used to treat anxiety, some users were found to have anxiety issues after being separated with their device for only 10 minutes as according to a study co-authored by Larry Rosen. Rosen also commented:

“Most people can’t last an hour without getting highly anxious if their smartphone is taken away”

This information is not intended to portray that all smartphone users are going to lure themselves into a mental illness through ‘normal’ or ‘constant/excessive’ use. It’s showing you that for those with a substance or behavioural addiction problem, smart phones can play a major part of the problem or in some cases even begin the complications.

How would you fare without your phone for 24 hours?

Image courtesy of Talk Android

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  • Wayne

    Being without a smartphone is not the be-all and end-all for me, although I have one (four actually), I can quite easily survive without it but I do need some sort of cellular communication device, I can’t do any business without it. I’m far more dependant on my desktop computer and ADSL line than I am on mobile comms.
    I’ve noticed people who are most dependant on their smartphones and tablets are primarily social networkers, something I’ve always had very little time for.