Wednesday December 26, 2018

Tech Addicts Seek Help at Rehabilitation Centers

Young people across the nation are suffering from a mental illness called "tech addiction" where they can't function in life due to the need to "go online." Whether the outlet is video games, social websites like Reddit, videos on YouTube or online porn, these young people forego daily functions and self-care in favor of more tech stimulus. Depression, anxiety, can't-find-a-job, flunk-your-classes, and suicidal thoughts have replaced the desire to go outdoors and meet other people.

Rehabilitation centers like reSTART offer 12-step programs that are designed to help the afflicted to overcome their addictions by detoxing on a secluded ranch at a group home. The therapy involves manual labor such as feeding horses and other farm animals, cooking meals for the group, and other chores. Smartphones are replaced with limited function devices that can only call, text, read emails, and access maps. The participants learn to identify and confront their issues, create life plans, find jobs and return to the real world with a goal to maintain their sobriety.

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"It's more like an eating disorder because they have to learn to use tech," just as anorexics need to eat, says Hilarie Cash, chief clinical officer and another co-founder at reSTART, which opened nearly a decade ago. They've since added an adolescent program and will soon offer outpatient services because of growing demand.