Modern day technology may be a blessing and a curse for today’s world. Some believe that it may be fueling the current substance abuse problems. Others believe that is not the case.
This write up will present arguments for this point (and against it). You can decide for yourself whether or not technology may be exacerbating an issue that can be reversed. If you or someone you know needs help, you can visit the New Waters Recovery website at https://newwatersrecovery.com/.
Before we present our arguments, we’ll discuss how technology and substance abuse may have a connection with one another.
Technology and substance abuse: What is the potential connection?
Our current existing technology is easily accessible. Many people will have a smartphone, even if it’s one of the low priced options they can find in stores. Aside from phones, many people are also in possession of tablets, notebooks and regular computers.
With so many options for communication, people can talk to friends, family, or even people they’ve never met. The methods of communications can be used to acquire items. This of course can include drugs.
The issue here is that technology may be monitored, so ‘code talk’ may be used in an effort for a drug acquisition to be successful. It may take one call or message for someone to sell drugs to the next buyer. Drugs may also be acquired illegally online through technological means.
One of the more common ways is via the ‘dark web’. However, the dark web is likely monitored by law enforcement to track illegal activities including the sale of drugs. Because of technology mediums being monitored, drug sales may often go offline in an effort to avoid detection from authorities.
Technology fuels substance abuse: The argument ‘for’ this point
Technology is a fuel for substance abuse due to many reasons. For one, let’s point to social media. Most people will use it for the purpose of acquiring external validation from others. If they do not receive this, they may feel depressed and may develop low self-esteem.
They may be exposed to materials that may cause them to stress out all the time. They may be looking for something that may help them cope with it. One such option may be substances including alcohol or drugs.
Depending on the technology they use, some substances may be linked to it. Those who play online video games will either choose marijuana or alcohol as their top substances of choice. Some have even reported using cocaine or meth, although the numbers are just south of one percent.
Digital addiction may also be co-occurring with substance abuse. If both conditions are diagnosed, a treatment plan will need to be put together in order to attack both disorders. Technology addiction can be as serious as drug addiction.
There is a major similarity between both substance abuse and technology. When each addiction is satisfied, the part of the brain that provides you with the reward of dopamine. This part of the brain will undergo changes from the first time they use substances and increase the frequency of their technology use.
Another similarity is there are some withdrawal symptoms from drugs and Internet use are the same. These include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, and mood swings. They may have stronger than normal urges to use drugs, the Internet, or both.
What’s even scarier is that half of the world’s population is addicted to the Internet. Of those numbers, it’s untold how many are abusing or addicted to substances. Technology and drug addiction can go hand in hand.
For those reasons, treating both disorders is possible. It will take a dual diagnosis to get there.
Technology is not the problem: The argument against it
Technology is not a direct problem or cause for substance abuse. If anything, there are non-technological factors that can be the cause. For example, mental illness or disorders are known to lead to addiction.
They may use it to ease the pain of their disorders. They may be dealing with flashbacks from traumatic events. They may also use it to feel good instead of feeling depressed.
Stress can also be triggered through non-technological factors. People may use substances to relieve stress. There is no need for technology to get involved with the process.
Even if people do use technology on the regular, there is not enough evidence supporting that it can fuel substance abuse. There may be no way of actually knowing how technology can trigger someone’s drug use.
Not only that, the factors that can cause substance abuse will already exist. Regardless if the person uses technology regularly (but not at highly addictive levels), mental illness and stress can lead to issues where a person will depend on substances. They may use technology while under the influence and may not be aware of their activities.
A person who may not use technology at all may still find a way to abuse substances or develop an addiction. They may need to be in environments where substance abuse is frequent. You could be off the phone or computer and may use substances in order to feel good and have a good time.
Someone dealing with substance abuse can get the help they need. The sooner they get it, the better off they will be.
Whatever your belief is on the issue, technology can cause potential issues. They may coincide with substance abuse. However, each person is different when it comes to the use of technology and the substances that they use.
Regardless, it will take a diagnosis to pinpoint the issues. Whether you are suffering from technology addiction, substance abuse, or both it can be taken care of. Get the treatment you need and follow through with the plan that will help you beat it once and for all.
It takes a professional evaluation to create a treatment plan. Don’t take your chances to treat one disorder and ignore the other. If the disorders are co-occurring, you can beat them both no matter how long it takes.