Blog

Opiate Alternative

Ayahuasca Addiction

For those who may not be familiar with ayahuasca, it is a tea that contains DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine), a hallucinogenic compound. Ayahuasca is derived from the Quechua language and loosely translated means either vine of the soul or vine with a soul. When an individual consumes this tea, it can trigger either a mild sedating effect or lead to extreme hallucinations.

HOW DOES AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AFFECT THE BRAIN?

One of the most important things to note when it comes to ayahuasca is that DMT, which is the primary active ingredient in the tea, is very similar to serotonin in terms of chemical structure. To further put this into context, we should first get a better understanding of how serotonin works in the body. Serotonin, which is found primarily in the brain, bowels, and blood platelets, is a chemical and neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and even sexual function.

Low serotonin levels can lead to depression and a host of other mental health disorders. That said, many physicians and psychiatrists will prescribe serotonin-boosting medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), for example, to help patients who are struggling with these symptoms. However, many people will also consume ayahuasca-based tea to achieve the same serotonin-boosting benefits.

According to some studies, the mind-altering effects of ayahuasca-based tea can be felt in as little as 30 minutes after an individual consumes it. The hallucinations, which can vary in intensity, can last anywhere from 1 to 6 hours and can be very similar to that of LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide). In many cases, those who have consumed the tea will perceive certain sounds as being more intense than usual or may hear sounds that do not exist. 

While there are a variety of ways to consume ayahuasca-based herbs, many people prefer to consume it in tea form, which introduces small amounts of the mind-altering substance to the brain over a longer timeframe, resulting in a longer and more pleasurable high.

AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AND ADDICTION

While ayahuasca-based tea is not physically addictive, it can trigger psychological cravings, which can be just as difficult for some people to overcome. That said, there is very little research available when it comes to the long-term psychological effects of consuming ayahuasca-based tea, and there is even less information available concerning the full extent that the tea has on one’s physical health when consumed long-term. The one thing that most addiction experts will agree on, however, is that the mild to moderate hallucinations associated with these teas in and of itself can lead to psychological dependence for some individuals.

AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AS AN HERBAL OPIATE

Although the practice is not recommended or endorsed by the addiction treatment and recovery community, many individuals have turned to ayahuasca-based teas to help them overcome their addiction to prescription-based or street-level opioids. That said, those who choose to consume ayahuasca-based tea to overcome an opioid addiction are urged to proceed with caution. According to Dr. Gerald Thomas, director of alcohol and gambling policy with British Columbia’s Health Ministry, consuming ayahuasca-based tea may be beneficial for those seeking to end their addiction to opioids due to how it temporarily alters brain function.

In essence, the changes that take place in the brain once an individual consumes ayahuasca-based tea is similar to that of consuming methadone and suboxone, two of the most commonly prescribed opiate alternative medications, which are used to help individuals overcome severe withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid detox. Nonetheless, Dr. Thomas cautions that more research will be needed to determine the substance’s long-term effects as well as the overall efficacy before it can ever be recommended as an opiate alternative for those needing help ending their addiction to opioids.

SIDE EFFECTS OF AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA

Despite being extolled for its calming effects and other therapeutic benefits, there are some side effects associated with consuming ayahuasca-based tea. After all, the psychedelic tea is comprised of DMT, Banisteriopsis caapi (flowering vines), and Psychotria viridis (shrub leaves of the chacruna plant), all of which can trigger a mind-altering experience. Some of the more common physical side effects include

  • Agitation

  • Chest pain

  • Dehydration

  • Diarrhea

  • Dilated pupils

  • Dizziness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Seizures

  • Vomiting

Of course, the side effects do not end there as ayahuasca-based tea is also known to trigger a variety of psychological side effects as well, including hallucinations, anxiety, and extreme paranoia. Ironically, some individuals consume ayahuasca-based tea solely to achieve these psychological effects. These same individuals have equated these effects, which may be off-putting to most people, as a way of cleansing their mind and body. Whether these beliefs are misguided or based on tangible evidence is still up for debate, but many people believe they are simply par for the course when consuming these psychedelic teas.

WHY IS AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA GROWING IN POPULARITY?

Although ayahuasca-based tea has recently started making headlines in North America, it has been a mainstay in South American countries for decades and is often consumed during religious ceremonies among those seeking to benefit from its hallucinogenic properties, which they believe will trigger a spiritual awakening of some sort. In the United States, there are two churches that are known to use ayahuasca-based tea during religious ceremonies. These churches include the UDV church in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also the Santo Daime church in Oregon. Also, more people are turning to this psychedelic tea to help them overcome opioid addiction and as a way to cope with mental health disorders like depression and PTSD, for example.

HOW IS AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA MADE?

This new trend in ayahuasca-based tea has led to more people brewing the concoction in the privacy of their own homes, and the reasons for doing so can vary greatly from one person to the next. Some people are using it as an herbal opiate alternative to help ease opioid withdrawal symptoms while others are using it as a form of self-care to address a mental health disorder. Most people will take a traditional approach when it comes to brewing their own batch of this psychedelic tea, which entails the use of Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis. 

The Psychotria Viridis contains DMT, the most active ingredient, and Banisteriopsis caapi contains MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), which protects against stomach upset while the Psychotria Viridis is being absorbed and ultimately broken down in the stomach. The brewing process is not too dissimilar from brewing any other kind of tea. In essence, you will need to combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan, fill the pan with water, and allow the water to come to a boil. From there, carefully pour the combination into a cup using a tea strainer to catch the leaves and stems.

BOTTOM LINE

There are also many reports of people becoming psychologically addicted to these teas as well. If you’re thinking about trying ayahuasca-based tea as an herbal opiate to help with opioid cessation, to cope with a mental illness, or for any other reason, you’re strongly encouraged to speak with a physician before making your decision.

Cannabidiol

“Cannabidiol, (CBD) What You Need To Know”

CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol is all the rage these days! Recent studies and research evidence have revealed the potential applications of CBD to the field of healthcare. However, this is not the first time that CBD has been used; Cannabidiol has been used as early as the 1940s. 

History of Cannabidiol

CBD was an accidental discovery made by Roger Adams in the 1940s. His aim was to extract a substance from the Cannabis sativa plant; however, a name was given to his discovery several years later. Lab testing soon began on animals to determine the extent of the benefits associated with the consumption of CBD. In the late 1960s, the British Pharmacopoeia released the first CBD Oil for medical use. A few decades later, a breakthrough was made when a connection between treating epilepsy and the consumption of CBD was found through a study.

What is Cannabidiol?

CBD is one of the two major active ingredients in marijuana; however, while marijuana-derived CBD is illegal, hemp-derived CBD is not. Because both marijuana and hemp contain levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, we may also find this in trace amounts in CBD products. Thus, the legality of CBD is very controversial. 

Scientific studies have allowed us to believe that we may use CBD as a treatment option for certain ailments such as chronic pain, acne, anxiety, sleep disorders, arthritis, and a variety of similar conditions. CBD works by interactions with our body’s endocannabinoid system, the system responsible for regulating bodily functions such as appetite, pain, sleep, mood, and our immune system’s response to disease and infection. These interactions allow for a reduction in the symptoms felt by the mentioned conditions.

Cannabidiol also has anti-inflammatory characteristics that make it a viable treatment option for inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. In addition, CBD gives off an overall calming effect that makes it efficient in treating anxiety and mood disorders.

Difference Between Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate

These substances are different in the sense that CBD Isolate refers only to the crystalline powder that contains CBD. This product is often mixed with additives and synthetic chemicals which makes the effectiveness less great. Research shows that the effectiveness of this substance falls in a bell curve which creates limitations to its effectiveness when taken in different dosages.

Full Spectrum CBD refers to the plant oil containing CBD and other natural substances such as phytonutrient, chlorophylls, and terpenes. The natural substances make this form of CBD a more viable option when choosing an effective treatment. Some compare this consuming this CBD to taking vitamin supplements.

When making a purchase of CBD products, be sure to ask about the extraction method and the type of CBD. This can make a huge difference between whether the product will be effective in treating your ailment or not. It is an excellent idea to purchase your products from companies that perform third-party testing. Some companies may provide low-quality CBD products that have been derived from industrialized hemp that has been subject to large amounts of pesticides or synthetic chemicals. These products more often than not also include a larger than allowed concentration of THC that may have undesired effects.

The Legality of CBD in America

CBD products and supplements are currently legal in the entire nation with a few exceptions. While these exceptions are determined by the governing body of each state, the one common exception is where the CBD is originally derived from. In the year 2014, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missippi, Utah, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Missouri legalized CBD for medical use. Despite this recent legalization, CBD is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law. This regulation does not only pertain CBD but to the cannabis plant in general.

The one exception to this federal regulation is the approval of Epidiolex, a form of pediatric epilepsy treatment containing a concentration of CBD. Because this treatment was approved by the Federal Drug Administration, CBD became later classified as a Schedule 5 drug meaning that it has the lowest potential for abuse or drug addiction. Schedule 1 drugs are normally prone to drug addiction which may require an individual to enter drug rehab at a drug treatment center. Using CBD does not run the risk of having to enter drug rehab at a drug treatment center and therefore, it is a popular choice for patients across the nation.

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill changed the situation regarding the legality of CBD. This federal regulation allowed for the legality of hemp-derived CBD in all fifty states. This allowed for businesses selling CBD products to prosper and boom into the CBD industry we know today.

Restrictions of Using CBD Products

CBD products are sold in a variety of places including local grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and even retail. These products include vapes, gummies, tinctures, oils, topical lotion, and more. While there is no specific law regarding the sale of CBD products to minors, most stores will not sell any products to anyone under the age of eighteen. 

This is due to one main reason: certain CBD products may include a small concentration of THC. Because THC is psychoactive, it is best to not allow minors to purchase these products. However, it is a completely different story online. Anyone with access to an account of an adult aged twenty-one or over can purchase CBD products on any online retailer.

Flying with CBD Products

With the controversial nature of CBD products, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you may bring these products with you on your vacations or ventures out of the country. The simple answer to this is: yes. The Transportation Security Administration has recently updated its policy concerning traveling with medical marijuana. Consequently, it is now completely legal to travel aboard a plane with hemp-derived CBD products. This is great news for frequent flyers with anxiety!

The Future of CBD

CBD products have become one of the most sought out treatments and supplements in the nation and as a result, major companies are now looking to add this substance into their products. Coca-Cola has recently released a statement pertaining to the future addition of a minor concentration of CBD to their drinks and even Oreos has discussed doing this! The current generation demands safe-to-use products that are all-natural and organic. CBD meets both of these requirements and is one of the most talked-about substances among the Millenials. 

With this in mind, citizens are demanding that states legalize cannabis for both recreational and medical use. Three states have already done this and more are considering doing the same. Experts estimate that cannabis may be fully legal within the next decade to meet high consumer demands within the United States. 

Uncategorized

What is Kratom and Why is it a Threat?

Kratom is a plant in the coffee family with opioid-like properties and some stimulant properties. It grows predominantly in Southeast Asia and has been used in the region as traditional medicine and herbal remedy for years. Kratom’s usefulness and safety are still unknown since there has not been much quality research done yet. Many people classify kratom in the category of opioid alternatives, but more research needs to be done on its safety. Some even look to the drug as a natural alternative to the opioid crisis.

Traditional Uses of Kratom

Throughout history, kratom has long been acknowledged as a form of traditional medicine in many regions throughout Southeast Asia. The leaves of the plant are usually chewed to relieve muscle pain, boost energy, increase appetite, and even as an aphrodisiac. The drug also has a medical application and can be used to cure pain and provide treatment for physical injuries. The drug is used extensively by doctors in Thailand to cure many ailments. 

Modern Uses of Kratom

Kratom taken in small amounts has a mild soothing stimulant effect but taken in larger doses, it can have euphoric effects and pain-relief effects similar to opiates. This has led to kratom becoming a popular recreational drug with many claiming that the drug can calm the user, cure depression, and even have a use in drug rehab clinics. The thought is that it can be used as a substitute similar to methadone and become another one of these opioid alternatives. Time will tell if mass adoption of kratom in the United States will take place or not, but more clinical trials will be conducted to determine if there are any underlying long-term effects of the drug.

Application in Drug Rehab Clinics

Many look to the application of kratom to aid people who are going through drug rehab. This is due to the drug having effects that are similar to morphine and containing similar qualities of other opioid alternatives. Kratom has been proven to help with the negative effects of withdrawal, but repeated use may actually lead to addiction. As of now, kratom is legal at the federal level in the United States, although it is banned in some states. Some even suggest that kratom can be used as a safer alternative to conventional opiates and could help curtail the opioid crisis.

Dangers of Using Kratom

Because the drug is often abused as a recreational drug, there are a number of adverse effects reported and even potential dangers posed to users. The side effects of taking kratom include excessive sweating, loss of appetite, hypertension (high blood pressure), and in extreme cases, even seizures. 

There have also been deaths reported that seem to be somehow linked to kratom usage, however, it could not be determined that kratom was the actual cause of death due to other drugs being present in the toxicology report. There are reports that even suggest that the use of kratom has been directly linked to the triggering of psychosis. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) namely the Poison Control Center say calls regarding overconsumption of kratom have spiked recently, and may soon become a serious threat, especially among young people.

Toxicology Details

At low doses, there are mostly only stimulant effects. Typical side effects include narrowing blood vessels and raised blood pressure. Both of these can lead to flushing of the face and smaller pupil size. Adverse effects at this level include anxiety, paranoia, and agitation. There have also been notably some opioid-related effects such as itching, nausea, and loss of appetite.

At moderate doses, the opioid effects generally begin to show. Negative side effects include excessive sweating, heart palpitations, confusion, and low blood pressure all of which can be dangerous.

Continued use of kratom at high doses could cause serious side effects such as tremors, anorexia, sudden weight loss, seizures, and even psychosis. Additionally, frequent high dose users who attempt to quit using kratom could also have symptoms similar to opioids withdrawal. The symptoms include anger, agitation, raised blood pressure, loss of appetite, and insomnia.

Respiratory Depression

Respiratory depression is one of the biggest threats to opioid users. Also known as “hypoventilation”, it basically means that the body is unable to process the involuntary air exchange which is usually automatic (involuntary). So this may lead to bigger problems like a stroke or aneurysm if the blood vessels don’t receive oxygen for a certain amount of time. Many believe that kratom is not immune to the risk of respiratory depression. Acting in a similar fashion to many other opioids, the hypothesis is that the symptoms are the same, although more testing needs to be done. However, there have been tests done on animals, and the evidence shows that respiratory depression does, in fact, occur at very large doses in animals

Liver toxicity

It has also been reported that regular users of kratom may experience liver injuries and have symptoms such as malaise, abdominal discomfort, and irritability. Liver injury is a dangerous condition that may in some cases, also lead to renal failure. This is a serious health risk but has rarely been reported in kratom use cases except at extremely high doses.

Other Health Risks

  • Anorexia
  • Obesity
  • Seizures
  • Death (potentially)

Conclusion

Kratom may not be all it is cracked up to be. On the surface, it looks like a great alternative for people going through opioid withdrawals, but once you dig a little deeper, you quickly see that this drug may not be any safer than the opioids they are supposed to mimic. For these reasons, kratom should be used with extreme caution, and under close supervision. Although used in low doses, kratom can be beneficial to the user, the threats of overuse are numerous and severe. More research should be done on this drug before people start using it, and thinking of it as a morphine or methadone alternative. The drug is too new in the United States and while it may one day lead to many people surviving through the opioid crisis, it is better to be safe than sorry. For now, we should just wait for the FDA to do more studies on the drug’s applications for modern society.

Uncategorized

What We Know About Depression

Awareness of mental health conditions are on the rise, which is important for helping everyone to feel emotionally strong. While people have been dealing with depression since the beginning of time, we now know so much more about how to help people overcome symptoms such as severe exhaustion and apathy. 

Sadly, the symptoms of depression affect more than just the person with the condition. More than half of all families with a loved one living with depression in their home report having trouble maintaining healthy functioning. Untreated depression can also lead to a person losing their job, ending relationships and making unhealthy choices that limit their future. Fortunately, no one has to sit idly by and let depression take over. Instead, understanding this important information about depression helps a person to make the best choices for their mental health.

Know That Depression is Different From Sadness

People who are unfamiliar with depression tend to wonder why it is such a big deal when everyone is sad sometimes. The difference with depression and sadness is that the symptoms of major depressive disorder tend to last far longer than a couple of weeks. With regular sadness, a person is usually just responding to a recent disappointment such as a breakup. They may also be able to snap out of their bad mood by doing something fun. Depression can often have no obvious cause since it involves chemical changes within the brain that require treatment before a person can feel better. 

Watch Out for These Risk Factors

There is not a single factor that causes depression to develop. Instead, genetics and brain chemistry play a heavy role in a person’s risk for developing the condition. Certain types of life events are also associated with the development of depression. For instance, a person is at higher risk for developing the condition after losing a loved one or experiencing a trauma. For people that have experienced depression in the past, going through a major life change such as having a baby or losing a job are signs that it may be best to seek mental health counseling to prevent the symptoms of depression from getting worse.

Recognize the Symptoms of Depression

The most well-known symptom of depression is persistent sadness that typically lasts for longer than two weeks and does not respond to self-care. It is also important to be alert for the other symptoms of depression that can include some or all of the following:

  • withdrawal from one’s previous favorite activities
  • changes in eating habits-some people eat more while others eat less
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • sleep difficulties such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • making poor decisions
  • increased reliance on substances such as alcohol
  • thoughts or statements about suicide or just giving up
  • feeling exhausted or weighed down by life
  • physical complaints such as headaches, muscle pain and nausea

Understand That Depression is Different for Everyone

Although there are certain symptoms that are common among people with depression, it is important to note that not everyone feels or expresses them the same. In fact, there are some notable differences in how men and women experience depression. A person’s age may also affect how they deal with their symptoms.

  • Women-Women make up the largest group of people who suffer from depression, and approximately seven percent of women will experience some form of the condition in their lifetime. The current understanding regarding the reason this occurs is that women have more risk factors such as hormonal fluctuations that make them more likely to experience mood changes. 

Women who are depressed tend to feel more of the emotional symptoms such as feelings of worthlessness. They may even feel guilty about their inability to just snap out of it or that they are not managing all of their responsibilities well. On the upside, women are more likely to reach out to their loved ones for help, and they are usually the first to seek treatment for depression when they notice the symptoms.

  • Men-When a man is depressed, they tend to feel more anger than guilt. They may also be irritable and lash out at their loved ones. Some men also withdraw or begin to use drugs or alcohol in an effort to mask their symptoms. Although things are changing, man men still feel stigmatized about being depressed, and they may need additional encouragement from their support network to seek treatment.
  • Teens-Depression often first appears during the teen years, and it may be due to changes in their risk factors such as going through puberty and dealing with new types of stress such as social pressure. Since teenagers are often unaware that their feelings are not normal, they rely upon their parents, teachers and other trusted adults to call attention to the need for treatment.

Parents often miss the early warning signs of depression in teens by simply thinking that it is just part of them growing up. However, a simple way to determine if a teen needs mental health counseling is to check to see if their symptoms are affecting their life. For instance, a teen who is oversleeping and skipping school needs help treating their symptoms so that they can manage their responsibilities.

  • Children-Younger children can also develop depression. This often occurs after a major life event such as moving to a new home or losing a loved one. Children this age may become clingy, whiny or experience developmental regressions such as wetting their bed.

Learn About the Different Types of Depression

These are the main types of depression that a person may be diagnosed with, and knowing which type they have makes it easier to create a personalized treatment plan that helps them feel better.

  • postpartum depression
  • major depression
  • persistent depressive disorder
  • psychotic depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • seasonal affective disorder

Be Willing to Reach Out for Help

One of the most important things to know about depression is that every type is treatable. While some types, such as major depressive disorder, may require more intensive counseling to treat, it is possible to feel better. Anyone who recognizes the symptoms of depression in themselves or a loved one can start by talking to their doctor. When doing so, it is important to be open about all of the symptoms that one is dealing with in their life. A doctor may also ask patients about their current life situation to find out if there are any changes that could be contributing to the symptoms. After checking for physical causes of the symptoms, a doctor may then refer the person to a mental health professional such as a counselor

For those who do not currently have a primary care doctor, it is still possible to seek help by reaching out for mental health counseling on their own. Many counselors and therapists are open to new patients who simply call and explain how they are feeling.

Explore Treatment Options 

Professional treatment for depression is the best way to find relief from the symptoms. A person’s treatment plan may include one or all of the following types of care.

  • medication
  • psychotherapy, or talk therapy
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • interpersonal therapy

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions that is known today, and it is important to know that there is hope when a person feels hopeless. In fact, no one with depression is ever alone since professional counselors are available to help them ease their symptoms and learn how to move forward with a greater sense of mental wellbeing.

Uncategorized

The WHO Rules Gaming Disorder a Mental Health Classification

The World Health Organization’s announcement to include gaming disorder a medical diagnosis.

Through the years, video games have gotten a bad rap. They are seen as a major distraction, with tech addiction affecting people of all ages and all genders. They have remained controversial through the years with their graphic topics covering violence and sexuality. And now, video games have taken the limelight globally for being recognized as an alarming disorder.

Last may 25, the World Health Organization, also known as WHO, voted to include gaming disorder as a form of behavioral addiction in its International Classification of Diseases. What many parents scream to their kids about how their video gaming addiction is terribly annoying and how tech addiction is ruining their lives have just now become officially and dangerously real. There are several parameters to receive this gaming disorder diagnosis:
A person needs to show 12 months of continuous symptoms
Gaming and screen addiction takes up many hours of the technological addict’s time
Prioritizing gaming over health, hygiene, work, and social relationships

Gaming Figures

This declaration by the WHO on gaming disorders comes at a time wherein the impact and clout of the gaming industry is at its peak. Last year alone, this video and online gaming industry made up to $44 billion in sales; making them even more popular than streaming services and movie theaters. In the United States alone, research indicated that 167 million citizens played some form of electronic game, with majority of those figures playing online.

Gaming has overtaken the place of older social media apps, leaving less time for those with a video gaming addiction to spend on FB, IG, or Snapchat. This diagnosis has, of course, alarmed parents across the globe because data indicates that 97 percent of teen boys and 83 percent of teen girls play games on some kind of device. Some form of digital detox or detoxification from excessive gadgetry is necessary.

Conflicting Community

The WHO’s voice is without a doubt one that is filled with authority and power. However, it must be noted that they are not the only word, nor the last word in the field of science. In fact, there are those up in arms over this diagnosis. Of course, the video game companies are not happy over this declaration. But even in the community of scientists, there is quite a split between supporting tech addition as the real deal or whether this is a gross exaggeration.

It is important to note that technology addiction doesn’t even appear on the bible of the psychiatric profession in the United States. The closest it comes to being mentioned in the latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is something called Internet Gaming Disorder. However, it not listed as an alarming condition that’s a cause for concern. The term was just mentioned briefly with notes that stating this disorder needs further study.

This lack of a medical sounding diagnosis is a vital one. This omission is important because it shapes therapists’ and doctors’ understanding of their patients and the tools they need in order to extend help. And more significant, it is harder to bill insurance providers without this official code in the official manual.

Still Alarming

There is no official term in the United States yet, but clinicians and researchers find screen addiction still ever so alarming. Patterns of behavior associated with excessive video games consumption continues to be a cause for concern, especially because the bulk of the people involved in doing it are children.

In the book, Glow Kids:  How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids, Dr. Nicholas Kardaras said there are brain-imagine effects of spending too much time on screen. He noted treating teenagers who come into his office being so wrapped up in their games that they don’t even make eye contact. The worst case scenario is they are so afraid to be distracted for fear of losing their games that they do not even get up to use the toilet, even if they really need to go already.

A doctor by the name of Douglas Gentile from Iowa State University admits to facing this video game addiction and excessive internet use concept with a lot of skepticism. But he that all the data and hard evidence are already staring everyone in the face but people struggle in accepting, facing, and handling the truth. The serious dysfunction this addiction affects includes multiple aspects of a person’s life and it is not imaginary but very real.

Points to Consider in Problematic Use

The advent of technology in this very advanced and fast paced world has exposed every single person to a device. Gadget use has been very prevalent that even young kids have to grapple with its consequences due to early and too much exposure. There are many adverse issues raised against excessive use of technology. Aside from just physically damaging the eyes due to the radiation emitted by the devices, the exposure to so much screen time can cause the brain to change. As mentioned above, there are printouts of brain images that show the actual effect of gadgets on the brain of real live subjects. As a result, these alarming changes in the brain are the ones that are feared to create the real physical dependency.

On top of that, overuse of gadgets, games, and media is seen as a bigger symptom of something deeper such as issues on depression, ADHD, or anxiety. In a study called A Parent Report Measure of Screen Media Addiction indicated that parents are alarmed by their children’s behavior. Taking away the gadgets only seem to make their children more rebellious. It also does not guarantee they will not have access to it in school or in other social settings. But what they do know is that excessive gadget consumption has the capacity to affect their kids’ health (staying up late nights make them prone to illnesses), impact the grades, affect time spent with family, and interfere with social relationships.

Proposed Treatment

Rather than just taking the gadgets away, which will cause more harm and drama than good, there must be harm reduction through digital detox. Taking the gadget away does not really eliminate the problem because these will always be present in the modern world. Confiscating the gadget is akin to throwing it under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist. Instead discipline and healthy use of gadgets must be taught through mindful usage and controlled consumption.

Going cold turkey on video games may not be plausible because for the users it does provide them some measure of positivity such as entertainment, making them feel good, or helping them socialize with their online friends. However, there can be steps done to ensure that the temptation to keep on playing or using the device s kept at bay. For instance, keeping devices out of bedrooms is one way to ensure that these gamers get quality sleep. It is also important to make sure that young people attend school, make time for friends, and spend time outdoors.

Addiction is real, and although the numbers may not be that high in video games use, it doesn’t mean that it is not happening. That being said, branding someone as an addict is especially dangerous, especially for teens who are still in the difficult stage of conceptualizing their identities. What is more important is realizing that negative habits need correction and proper guidance must be given to correct these unpalatable types of behavior. The word addiction and disorder both drum up attention. They are controversial. Nowadays, where people can’t even leave the house without their mobile phones, controlled consumption has become harder and harder to do. But one thing is clear, no one needs an official doctor’s diagnosis to get people to put down their devices more often.