The Early Warning Signs of Screen Addiction

As if kids and teenagers don’t have enough problems to deal with in life, there’s a relatively new phenomenon that’s causing substantial problems for them across the world. It’s called screen or digital addiction. Some experts will liken this new affliction to more familiar addictions like slot machine addiction. In other words, the individual gets stimuli from a device (computer, tablet, smartphone) that has a screen, and the stimuli becomes so powerful that it begins interfering with the person’s life.

 

To be fair, screen addiction is creating as many problems for adults as it is for kids and teenagers. The number of adults who can’t seem to put Facebook or Instagram aside for even a moment defies logic unless one would view it as a legitimate addiction. After all, it is a legitimate addiction. With that said, screen addiction is having a profound negative effect on the development of kids, and that’s a significant issue for society as a whole. The following information is going to focus on identifying the early signs of screen addiction and screen addiction treatment.

 

The Importance of Early Detection

As is the case with any addiction, early detection will usually result in the minimization of problems associated with the addiction. As indicated above, early detection of screen addiction among kids and teenagers is extremely important because of developmental issues.

 

The simple truth is kids need time for exposure to all kinds of stimuli for proper brain development. They need time to work on social skills, and they need exercise for proper physical development. If someone spends too much time in front of a digital device, that’s time they are not using to address other facets of life.

 

Kids will never admit they are spending too much time surfing the net or playing video games. It’s incumbent on parents to stay aware of what their kids are doing. If a parent fails to detect a problem before their child starts to show signs of screen addiction, tech addiction therapy becomes a necessary consideration. No one enjoys the prospect of seeing their kids have to spend time in an addiction recovery program.

 

The Early Signs of Screen Addiction Among Kids

Again, the following information is going to focus on the early warning signs of screen addiction among kids and teenagers. At a broader level, many of these same warning signs could be applicable to adults who are showing signs of similar problems.

 

There’s many ways a screen addiction with manifest itself within a child’s personality and behavior. To keep things simple, the following list will focus on eight of the most common signs a child may be falling victim to screen addiction, resulting in the need for screen addiction treatment:

 

  1. Increasing Time Spent With a Device – Parents should be aware of the activities of their children. Along with that should come a sense of when too much is too much. If the amount of time a child is spending with their electronic devices is constantly on the rise, there’s a good chance there could be an addiction forming.

 

  1. Loss of Interest in Other Activities – Beyond not spending time doing other things, kids will begin to show a complete lack of interest in even contemplating doing other things. If a parent sees the child setting aside toys or other previously enjoyed hobbies in favor of digital devices, it’s time to worry.

 

  1. Preoccupies Their Thoughts – Even when a child isn’t actually in front of a screen, they may exhibit a tendency to always be thinking and talking about their interactions with video games or the Internet. This could have a significant impact on the child’s ability to focus on school work.

 

  1. Failure to Socialize – This is a major problem. Video games and the Internet are poor substitutions for interacting with other people. A failure to spend time learning to socialize with other people, particularly other kids, can lead to severe developmental problems. Be particularly leery of a child not having appropriate interactions with other family members. It can have a profound effect on the overall functioning of the family unit.

 

  1. Onset of Behavioral Problems – If a child starts to show signs of agitation or anger when not allowed access to their electronic devices, this is a problem. A child might also show signs of inappropriate behavior towards people of authority (teachers, relatives, babysitters). If that’s the case, there’s trouble brewing.

 

  1. Inability to Focus on Other Things – Kids need a well-rounded scope of experiences. If a child is not able to sit their devices down long enough to do other things, it’s going to interfere with certain aspects of their development. Typically, kids will see other things as distraction as opposed to seeing their screen activities as a distraction.

 

  1. Hiding Electronic Device Use – Sensing they are receiving scrutiny for playing video games or being online too much, some kids will resort to hiding their use. Be weary of kids sneaking their devices to school or hiding them under the sheets until the lights go out at bedtime.

 

  1. Using Device Affects Child’s Mood – Parents should look for mood swings. In some cases, children may act lethargic or uninterested in life when not in front of a screen. Once they regain access, their mood immediately elevates. Devices should not have ability to influence a child’s mood.

 

Tech Addiction Recovery

Remember, the above information focuses largely on screen addiction as it pertains to kids and teenagers. However, the effects on adults are quite similar. There is a loss of ambition, a withdrawing from relationships, ignoring of responsibilities and behavioral changes.

 

Once an addiction takes hold, the individual is trapped. Without access to tech addiction therapy from a professional and reputable addiction treatment center, the prognosis is not good. A strong tech addiction recovery depends a great deal on the quality of treatment the individual gets.

 

Much of the focus of screen addiction treatment is placed on psychology and behavior. It’s very important for addiction counselors to get at the root causes of the individual’s addiction. Without doing so, it becomes increasingly more difficult to determine the proper course of treatment.

 

Counselors will also want to focus on how the addiction is creating behavioral problems. They will typically use evidence based treatment modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. The objective of these modalities is to identify behaviors and implement coping mechanisms to help modify them.

 

It’s never too late to get help for a screen addiction. Like other addictions, there is no cure. There’s only the possibility of arresting the illness and setting it aside. For better or for worse, recovery from a screen addiction will likely require the individual to stay away from devices except when absolutely necessary. That could be a real challenge for someone who works on the Internet or needs to run their business through social media. For kids and teenagers, it incumbent on parents to do their job and find ways to control the activities of their children.

Vacation Hacks for Staying Sober

Vacation is a great way to get away from the stresses of life, spend time with people you care about, and have fun. But if you’re in recovery, vacation isn’t as simple as getting away for a while. Everything you do need to help support your sobriety, including vacation. Just because you’re in recovery doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation. But if you’re thinking about taking some time away, it’s important to stay sober the whole time. Understanding why you should stay sober for life, including on vacation, and using some tips to help support your sobriety can make the difference between a great vacation and a relapse.

The importance of sobriety on vacation

When you’re in recovery, establishing routines in your daily life can make it easier to maintain your sobriety. You know what to expect each day, and your habits throughout the day help promote your sobriety. But when you go on vacation, your routines are disrupted. That can make it harder to resist temptations, especially if you’re in an environment where your will power is being challenged. But it’s just as important to stay sober on vacation as it is in your regular daily life. If you slip up, you run the risk of turning back to the life you had before and undoing all the work you did to get sober.

How to stay sober on vacation

Vacation should be a part of normal life. But when you’re working to stay sober, vacation can be a trigger for falling back into past behaviors. Here are some things you can do to help yourself stay sober when you’re on vacation.

Make sure you can handle the vacation

The timing of your vacation is a big consideration. Recovery is a process. The longer you’re sober, the easier it may be to go on vacation and use your willpower to avoid temptation. If you’re still early in your recovery, going on vacation may not be a good idea. Instead, it would be better to stick with your normal daily routine so you can reduce the risk of relapsing.

Communicate with your travel buddies

It’s also important to have open communication with the people you’ll be traveling with. They should know that you’re working on staying sober for life, and that a relapse could cause major problems in your life and recovery. Being open and honest with your travel buddies can help make sure that the vacation will be enjoyable for everyone and you’ll have the support you need to stay sober while you’re away from home. If your travel buddies can’t support your sobriety on vacation, it might not be the best idea to go.

Plan your itinerary around your needs

Staying sober means that you make decisions for your life based on your sobriety needs. The lifestyle you develop in recovery can be maintained while you’re on vacation. But that means that the itinerary for your vacation needs to be built around your needs for sobriety. If you need down time every day, make sure you get it. If you need time to exercise or have diet restrictions, make sure that your vacation can accommodate those needs. You want to have fun while you’re on vacation, but you still have basic needs that have to be met. If your vacation can’t meet your basic sobriety needs, it’s not a vacation for you.

Suggest activities that work for you

When you and your travel buddies are planning activities for the vacation, be sure to suggest activities that work for you. The people you’re traveling with may want to be supportive, but they may not know what that looks like on vacation. By suggesting activities you can do, it’s more likely that your vacation itinerary will be fun for you as well as for the people you’re traveling with. This is especially important if you’ve developed new interests and hobbies since getting sober. If your travel buddies are set on certain activities and those activities don’t support your sobriety, that may mean that you should reconsider going on vacation with those people.

Research destinations carefully

Some vacation destinations are better than others. Some vacation locations are built around drinking, for example. So if you’re working on sobriety, that wouldn’t be a good place for you to visit. As you’re planning your vacation, be sure to do research into what’s available in the area, what the big attractions are, and what you want to do while you’re away from home. For example, you might want to look for a destination that’s more “family-friendly.” Those locations tend to have activities that are good for people of all ages, which means there would be things to do that don’t involve substances or activities that might be triggering for you.

Don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle

Ultimately, whether or not you can and should go on vacation is up to you. If there are any red flags about the trip, or you think it’s too soon for you to disrupt your regular daily routines, don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle and say no to the vacation. Your travel buddies may be disappointed, but they want you to be healthy, happy, and sober. They’ll understand if it’s just not a good idea for you to go on vacation with them at that time. Your sobriety is the most important thing, so every decision you make should be for that goal.

Your sobriety is important. That doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation with people, but if you’re going to, then you have to make sure that your vacation is going to support your sobriety. From communication to planning to being willing to say no, your vacation can be a way to get away from the stresses of life without relapsing. Use these tips as you prepare for your vacation, and then you can be sure that you’ll come home with great memories and that you’ll still be sober for life!

5 Addiction Recovery Hacks

Sober living can be a difficult feat for those who are dealing with alcoholism and other drug addiction problems. As much as you’d love to get through the initial stages of anxiety and depression so that you can enjoy sober living, your codependency on drugs can make a relapse feel like an inevitable instance. However, you can fix your codependency on alcoholism and drug addiction through the proper techniques of addiction recovery. We’re going to share with you some great ways to overcome anxiety, depression, and addiction in our five easy addiction recovery
hacks below.

Failure to plan is planing to fail.

1 – Create A Structured Schedule With New Habits

One of the biggest problems that you’re going to face is simply the urge to fall back into old habits. This becomes especially apparent when you don’t have any sort of structured plan. It’s easy to get bored and revert back. You need to think about the things in your life that need to be changed
first. This includes everything that would interfere with a drug-free lifestyle. Some examples include hanging out with people who do drugs or spending time with the same people who you indulged within the past.
Once you have a list of habits that will need to be changed, it’s time to create a structured schedule. We’re not talking about running yourself ragged trying to be someone completely new, but it will help to have a structure to each day to ensure that your mind is somewhat distracted
from your old habits. Take some time at the beginning of each day or week to plan out your schedule. This can help you focus on creating and obtaining long-term goals while protecting yourself from relapsing.

2 – Get Physically Active

While exercise may be the last thing on your mind right now, it’s going to help. You’ll need to be able to fill the void that used to be taken up by partaking in your favorite drug or drink of choice. What better way to fill that time than with some physical movement that will get your body feeling
alive? Exercise and general recreational activities can play a major rule in reducing your stress and restoring your sense of balance in life. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of better nutrition and overall health.
If you’re not overly interested in the traditional workout, then we suggest finding some sort of recreational activity that you enjoy doing. For example, join a local team sport, go hiking, go biking, or just simply get moving some other way. Something as simple as fishing a few times a week can get you outside and moving. The more used to the activity that your body gets, the more strenuous activities you can partake in on a regular basis.

3 – Develop New Relationships

While this may be a scary thought, the current relationships you have in your life can be triggers for relapse. We’re not saying to completely ignore everyone you’ve developed a relationship with up to this point, but realize they’re part of your old lifestyle. You need to introduce some new
relationships into your life in order to bring on a new life for you.
They always say to pick your friends wisely. Your thought process should be along these lines. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, don’t focus on creating relationships with those who spend their weekends at the bar. While they may be great people, they’re just going to enable you to relapse.
We know that it can be easier to make friends with those who you’ve had much in common with, such as hanging out at the bar. However, you must work to craft new relationships with people who have a different lifestyle than your older associates. For example, making friends with
someone from a local sports team can allow you to be influenced to participate in more physical activity.

4 – Wear Something To Symbolize Your Commitment To Sobriety

While there are many wristlets, shirts, hats, and other decors that you can sport showing off your sobriety, we want you to think beyond that. Instead, think about an item that you can wear each day. This may be a special watch or custom band. It doesn’t need to say recovering or sobriety on
it. Rather, you are the only one who has to know what it means to you.
When you wake up each morning and see your wrist band, you know that it means sobriety to you. It can help you take control of your choices and consistently remind you of your commitment to yourself to stay sober. Many recovering addictions find that it’s hard to remember their emotional
commitments in times when stress is high. They tend to make regretful decisions based on a whim. Imagine having something physically there to remind you not to drink or use. This is what your piece of adornment will do for you.

5 – Make Contingency Plans

A big issue with the task of staying sober is falling off the bandwagon. As human beings, we have this urge to think that we completely messed everything up when we do one thing wrong. For example, if you find yourself drinking one beer, suddenly you look at it as a failure on your part.
You say ‘screw it, I might as well have another cause I already messed it up!” This can lead to a drastic fall off the edge of the sobriety cliff. Instead, work on making contingency plans to help when you make that initial wrong mistake. This will save you from completely jumping off of the
edge and going way back into your addiction. Sit down and think up as many viable scenarios as you can. For example, in your old lifestyle, you
may have immediately pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store when you drove past. This is something that you’re going to have to create a contingency plan for. A solution may be if I pull into the liquor store parking lot, I’ll look at the picture of my son in my wallet, remember that I’m stronger than my addiction, and simply drive back out of the parking lot. This may seem like an easy plan, but you may be surprised just how quickly your mind will jump to pulling out that picture when you find yourself in that scenario. By having a game plan of how you’re going to
handle scenarios, it gives you a choice between old habits and new ones.
Overcoming addiction of any kind is a difficult feat for everyone. There’s no magical pill that will change you overnight just like there’s no diet pill that will take you from overweight to thin in a week. Creating a new addiction-free lifestyle for yourself is something that you’re going to have to
work for. The major components of success rely on being consistent and level-headed. Realize that mishaps are going to happen and that you can deal with them. No one is perfect and it takes commitment to live the life that we desire. The above addiction recovery hacks are a great basis to get you started on your new lifestyle. We encourage you to focus on all five areas and work on being as consistent as possible with them. As you endeavor more and more into your addiction-free lifestyle, you’ll be able to create new habits that steer your life in the direction that you want instead of in the direction that you don’t.

Easter Sunday

 

With every passing Easter Sunday, the idea of rebirth and starting over, sober and clean of drugs and alcohol is seen everywhere. From nature being reawakened from its winter slumber to the Christian belief in the rebirth of Christ, this time of the year has always had a special importance people in many different facets. It is a time of new beginnings, addiction recovery. Easter reminds us that even in the longest and darkest of nights, the morning will come and the sun will rise.

For many, this time is also the beginning of a process of a personal rebirth, to begin again in our own lives by righting our wrongs and starting to walk a new path. A rebirth is precisely what recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction is. Our staff at Hickory Wind Ranch will help you put the drugs down and gain even just a little clarity, we realize that we truly do not have to continue living the life of a drug addict and become an entirely new person—the person we were meant to be.

Learn More About Our Programs.

Powdered Alcohol Risk to Teens

One of the newest social trends among teens and young adults in Texas is the use of powdered
alcohol at parties, in school, at home and in the workplace. Called ‘palcohol’, as an abbreviation
for powdered alcohol, the once rare substance is now mass produced and sold all over the
world. The very bad news is that it is much more dangerous than liquid alcohol and has the
potential to encourage alcohol abuse and destroy those who seek sober living.
The new scourge of palcohol is especially rampant in the state of Texas, where legislators have
already begun to make an attempt to outlaw the potent powder. Non-profit groups and informal
associations that work to treat alcohol abuse are also on board the legal bandwagon to stop the
palcohol problem before it becomes an epidemic.
Science
Perhaps it was inevitable with recent advances in chemistry, newly relaxed attitudes about drugs
that make people high, and a national trend toward drug legalization. The most pernicious aspect
of powdered alcohol, say its many critics in the scientific community, is its ability to go undetected
by law enforcement, school authorities and parents. But on top of that is the exceedingly high risk
of poisoning.
Legislation in Texas, introduced by Trent Ashby, a state rep from Lufkin, would prohibit the powder
from being manufactured, imported or sold in the state, but says nothing about homemade
powder, which is apparently a simple recipe to master. Critics of Ashby’s proposal say it’s a good
start but neglects to address moonshine versions of the stuff that any teenager can concoct in a
garage or basement with minimal equipment.
It’s Not Cannabis
The comparisons between powdered alcohol and cannabis fall short for several reasons. First, when
marijuana was illegal in every U.S. jurisdiction, it was difficult for home-growers to cultivate
enough of the stuff for much more than personal use. And they did so at great legal risk.
Making powdered alcohol requires no special lamps, illegal seeds or expensive equipment. By
simply adding ordinary sugar to a bottle of whisky and then letting the mixture dry, anyone with
$10 and a cup of sugar can make their own bottle of undetectable rotgut. But besides the legal
invisibility of powdered alcohol, what are the dangers? Here’s a very short list courtesy of the many
organizations who hope to stem the tide of the powerful powder:
1. Top of the list: the risk of poisoning, almost always unintentional. Adding a scoop or two of
powdered alcohol to a drink makes it an instant cocktail. Adding it to an alcoholic beverage makes
that drink a super-high proof liquid. This danger is one of the main reasons there are strict laws in
place that regulate the alcohol content of beer, wine, and spirits. Powdered alcohol lets any
backyard chemist create 150 proof brew without labels, warning statements, or disclosures of any
kind.
2. The fact that it’s easy to sneak into a party or bar means an increased risk of drink-spiking, a
social hazard for dozens of reasons, some obvious and some not. Public drunkenness might
become a national curse, and everyone would have to keep an eye on water and sodas in public
lest the barroom joker decides to slip a mickey into an otherwise innocent drink.
3. Injection and snorting are already a problem in Texas and some of the other 26 or so states that
have outlawed, or are ready to outlaw, powdered alcohol. For underage teens and others who want
a secret way to consume a powdered beer before class or during the lunch hour, it’s easy to
forego the liquid additive (which can be water, lemonade, milk, soda, or anything else) and just
snort the powder, or even inject it! Setting aside the obvious dangers of using needles without
medical supervision, snorting brings its own physical risks like overdoses and damage to the nasal
passages.
4. People who want to conceal a vast supply of alcohol (which includes anyone not allowed to have
it by law or regulation) use powdered substances to build a tidy stash of perhaps 100 cases of
beer, wine or whiskey. Imagine if a child had a secret hiding place, not known to adults, where he
or she could store virtually any substance in mega-quantities? The implications are frightening.

5. Manufacturers of powdered alcohol, most of whom are based in foreign countries or offshore and
out of reach of U.S. regulators, are now making dozens of varieties and strengths of the product in
many flavors, thus upping its marketing appeal. Flavored alcohol has the potential to draw in
young users by the droves.
6. Maybe the most valid criticism of powdered alcohol manufacturing is that it does an end-run
around current U.S. laws, all of which are in place to prevent the very real dangers posed by the
new product: poisoning, inadvertent overdose, easy concealment, the ability to attract underage
users, and the risk of encouraging dangerous modes of ingestion like snorting and injection.

What’s the Verdict?
In Texas, lawmakers are working feverishly to join the growing list of states that already ban the
dangerous powder. As far as law enforcement officials know, there are not any powdered alcohol
manufacturers in Texas a this time, but the threat is not so much from in-state manufacturers as it
is from those elsewhere. While about half of U.S. states have banned sale and manufacture of
powdered alcohol, another 15 or so have laws in the pipeline that will do so.
Powdered, ultra-concentrated alcohol has the potential to become a widespread public health
problem in Texas unless the state acts quickly to join other U.S. jurisdictions that have taken
significant steps to make sure that this potential hazard does not get a chance to take hold and
add one more obstacle in the path of Texans who want to live without the dangers of extremely
potent drugs floating around their communities.
Organizations interested in sober living, like 12-step programs and addiction support groups, are a
big part of the effort to stop dry alcohol from becoming a common product. Some entities have
even pushed for federal legislation to stop powdered alcohol in its tracks, but so far the U.S.
Congress has not taken up the topic.