Where are the AA meetings for Internet addiction? Social media and television addiction are too often obscured by their more obvious counterparts, like alcoholism and substance abuse. While equally serious issues, internet dependency poses a set of unique challenges because it fits so comfortably within our lifestyles. The epidemic has even been filtered into our vocabulary. People can freely admit to “binge-watching” and “going viral,” indicating a malignant component to high internet usage. These kinds of social cues enable its persistence by dismissing actual indications of addiction. Furthermore, our daily routines frequently depend on a considerable amount of internet usage – even John Bernasconi of Rehab Pathway confessed that he, like many others, spends at least eight hours a day at work on the computer. Recovery starts with advocating for addiction treatment and legitimizing recovery options.
Rehab Pathway has made significant strides here – transposing the criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 onto a survey measuring patterns of binge-watching, pornography, Internet, and social media use from a sample of 1,000 Americans.
A whopping 66 percent continued using the Internet at a high rate despite the negative consequences it incurred, such as sleep deprivation and late arrival to work. Additionally, half reported maintaining high use despite advice from a loved one to stop or uncomfortable physical side effects, like headaches. It comes as no surprise then, that addiction treatment centers in the Los Angeles area have started taking the matter seriously.
From a social standpoint, you can create an open discussion about Internet addiction by spreading awareness and acknowledging the condition. Ask yourself if you need to seek addiction treatment yourself, or if someone you know could benefit from visiting a center in Los Angeles. Don’t write it off, pay it forward. You owe it to yourself.
If you have questions or need assistance with locating the appropriate treatment center, give us a call. We’re here to help!