Equinox RTC Expands Technology Addiction Support for Teens
With the coronavirus pandemic imposing self-isolation across the world, many have become reliant on technology to maintain social connections. While technology use is not inherently bad, technology addiction is a growing problem for teens. Equinox RTC has expanded its technology addiction programming to support teens who are struggling with unhealthy tech habits and impulse control. Similar to what we think of as more traditional substance use addiction, tech addiction is a behavior that someone is engaging in in a compulsive way. These activities stimulate the reward centers of our brain, much in the same way that talking to a loved one or having a good meal activates the reward parts of our brain. These positive associations make it difficult to regulate or control that behavior.
At Equinox, the treatment team helps students focus on healthy connections, socializing, and communication skills. Primary Therapist Casey Dewar, MA, LCAS, LCMHC, said that people are often drawn into tech addiction because of a lack of social skills. “When you talk to people who have recovered from video games or tech addictions, they will say that it’s really the communication skills that they have learned in treatment that are really helping them. Communication and healthy socializing are things that are interwoven into everyone’s treatment here,” Casey said.
Equinox also focuses on helping students learn healthy impulse control. An inability to manage intrusive thoughts and feelings without acting on them is part of the struggle with addictions of any kind. “Whether that’s art and creative expression or hanging out with friends, we try to help them find more healthy ways to create meaning in their lives. We also help them work on executive functioning, daily living skills, and keeping and maintaining a schedule,” Casey said.
Often the underlying causes of tech addiction are related to mental health issues like depression or anxiety, and the Equinox team can help students understand and address these challenges.
About Equinox RTC
Equinox RTC is a leading residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Trauma, Loss, and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for boys struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, ASD, learning disabilities, and other emotional and behavioral needs. Equinox offers a combination of clinically sophisticated support with a whole-person approach including adventure therapy, integrated Crossfit program, and a whole foods diet. Equinox provides a fully accredited school, with broad course selections taught by licensed teachers in a college-preparatory environment.