DOES TECHNOLOGY HARM RECOVERY?
- July 23, 2018
Substance abuse recovery requires an active participant. You can’t just sit back and let others talk or pop into an office for the occasional procedure; it requires real effort. If you’ve ever found yourself so focused on your phone that you completely tune out what people around you say, you might see the problems that arise when someone is too attached to technology.
Remember that you’ve worked hard to get into treatment – and probably spent a fair amount of money – and you owe it to yourself to be fully present. There are doctors, therapists, and other patients who are there to impart advice and help you on your journey, and apart from the fact that it’s simply rude to stare at a phone while someone is talking, this advice is what is going to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
Good sleep and moderate exercise can play key roles in recovery and preventing relapse, and too much screen time can interfere with both. Do you ever look up from your phone or computer and realize you haven’t moved in hours? Do you sometimes stay awake well past a reasonable hour to read just one more Facebook post? If so, it might be time to work on your priorities. Exercise doesn’t just keep you slim, it improves your mood, gives you more energy, and can help with pain. Not getting enough sleep leads to a variety of health problems, including trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Lack of sleep has also been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior. Experts suggest that you put your gadgets down at least a half hour before you intend to go to sleep.
It’s possible that through technology you can swap one addiction for another. Consider all of the things you can get up to online – gambling, watching porn, shopping – and any one of these can turn into an addiction if done too often.
Some people even view the use of smartphones and other technology as a form of addiction in itself, marked by an inability to put down a device, discomfort when without it, missing out on other activities in favor of using it, lack of personal interaction and a sedentary lifestyle.
On the other hand, there are many resources available through technology. The internet is a nearly limitless source of information. There are also many apps for smartphones or tablets that allow you to connect with therapists or support groups, track your feelings and cravings, and search for meetings. Help & Hope by Text is a program for parents and caregivers of children with substance abuse problems that can send you personalized tips and allow you to chat with a specialist.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504.