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Monday, December 11, 2017

Brain Changes in Smartphone Addicted Teens

Smartphone addiction is on the rise – 50 percent of teens feel they are addicted, according to – and it’s taking a toll on their minds. 

A new, small study suggests that being hooked on the internet and smartphones may harm the brain chemistry of teens, according to research presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago.

Researchers found an imbalance of chemicals in the brain of "internet-addicted" teenagers, similar to whats found in people with anxiety disorder and depression. Compared with 19 teenagers who were not addicted, the brains of the addicted boys had significantly higher levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the cortex that inhibits neurons.

"GABA slows down the neurons," Caglar Yildirim, an assistant professor of human computer interaction, told "That results in poorer attention and control, which you don't want to have, because you want to stay focused. So that means you are more vulnerable to distractions."

The good news: Researchers found that several weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy works to reverse the imbalance. 

More About Smartphone Addiction
The overuse of smartphones has been linked to several health effects, including: 
  • Text neck - cramping, stabbing pain that comes after looking down at your phone too long
  • Poor posture
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Low self-esteem
What’s more, about 1.2 million car crashes in 2013 involved drivers talking on phones, according to the National Safety Council, and at least 341,000 involved text messaging.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
At Hope Academy, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is complicating substance abuse. Once we gain a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s individual health challenges, our addiction treatment team develops a customized program. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How Hope Helps Your Recovery

Hope is a pretty powerful ally in addiction recovery. Some experts even say it’s the foundation of recovery. Without hope, after all, you won’t be able to devote your mind and heart to your lifelong journey toward sobriety.

Hope helps us heal. Hope provides us with an optimistic mindset. Hope gives us the courage to set and reach small and large goals. Hope allows us to imagine a better, brighter, sober future. And while having hope is not always easy, it can always be found. 

Tips for Finding Hope
Here are a few tips to help you or someone you love find hope today:  
  • Read or listen to stories of recovery. Whether you join a Facebook page or go to an in-person meeting, recovery stories can help give you the inspiration, insight and hope you need to endure the difficult journey toward sobriety. 
  • Allow yourself to get inspired. Inspiration can certainly lead to hope. Make a point to let inspiration into your life, whether you make an effort to write down inspirational quotes, read an uplifting book or play some music. 
  • Surround yourself with optimism. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to build a solid network of positive friends, family members and peers who can help show you the bright side of life -- in recovery and beyond. There will likely be a lot of dark days during recovery and a little sunshine can help you power through and remain optimistic.
  • Set short- and long-term goals. Learning to develop meaningful and purposeful life goals is a crucial recovery activity and one that will help you look toward a positive, hopeful future. By finding your direction in life, you’ll find hope. Avoid setting unrealistic goals, however, as you don’t want to set yourself up for feelings of frustration or failure. 
Hope for a Sober, Successful Future
At Hope Academy, we help young adults recover from addiction by providing residential treatment and educational support that help them discover their passion and aspire to more in life. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, call today: 866-930-4673.

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