Dr. Cali Estes, The Addictions Coach and Founder of The Addictions Academy confirmed they have officially launched the Nationally Certified Internet Addictions Coaching (NCFRC) Course to help train Sober and Recovery Coaches enhanced methods to help individuals struggling with digital, internet and gaming addiction.
Explaining the need for this course, Estes said, “This is an important new course for us. Have you tried to pry a cell phone from a 15-year-old’s hands? How will they ever post that selfie on social media? Even 8-year-olds are addicted to gaming online and spend more time inside in front of a computer, phone, IPad or TV, than outside playing.”
Internet addiction is described as an impulse control disorder, which does not involve the use of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to pathological gambling. Some Internet users may develop an emotional attachment to online friends and activities they create on their computer screens.
The Nationally Certified Internet Addictions Coaching Course covers all facets of Internet Addiction and how the coaching process is imperative in behavior modification. Types of Internet Addiction now recognized by many experts include obsessions with social media, porn, shopping, gaming, streaming movies/tv, chatrooms, and what’s known as the dark web.
“We saw this with the advent of instant messaging and now social media where an entirely false reality can be created, including photos and jobs, a life that is not real,” Dr. Estes explained.
She went on, “Gamers that are enmeshed in the online video games also have this phenomenon. We saw the game Grand Theft Auto played in real life in San Diego when gamers started throwing bricks off overpasses and shooting at moving cars.”
CBS News recently reported on a new study from Europe. The study appears to show the effects internet addiction has on your body and how it relates to alcohol or drug withdrawal.
The scientists studied 144 people between the ages of 18 and 33 and after a brief time online, the internet was cut off and vitals were measured.
They found people who admitted that they spent too much time online, had an increased heart rate and blood pressure of three to eight percent to go along with a matching anxiety level. People who don’t spend significant time online saw little change.
“The individuals in our study used the internet in a fairly typical way, so we are confident that many people who over-use the internet could be affected in the same way,” said study lead Phil Reed. “However, there are groups who use the internet in other ways, like gamers, perhaps to generate arousal, and the effects of stopping use on their physiology could be different – this is yet to be established.”
Like people suffering withdrawal from alcohol, marijuana and heroin, researchers believe digital addicts feel the need to re-engage, or log on, to reduce those unpleasant feelings.
The study also found that the participants spent an average of 5 hours a day on the internet, with 20% spending over 6 hours a day using the internet. More than 40% of the sample reported some level of internet-related problem, acknowledging that they spend too much time online.
There was no difference between men and women in the tendency to show internet addiction.
Estes voiced, “I have seen a tendency in many of my clients who are in recovery from alcohol or drugs to get completely hooked on some sort of digital experience. In my experience, the trend has been growing steadily at an alarming rate and we feel it’s important to provide these coaching skills to those who can help.”