Smartphone and Cocaine Addiction- How Are They Similar?

 Infographic Source: Turner-AC Nielsen Research

When kids play on the iPad or the phone, the dopamine levels in their brain increase. This affects the frontal cortex of a child’s brain pretty much the same way cocaine does. This portion of the brain controls memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulse control, which is why any addiction leads to a loss of these skills. Children are not born with these skills, but develop them as they grow older which is why they are more susceptible to digital addiction.

Rehab clinic expert Mandy Saligari is one of the top addiction experts and warns that


“When you’re giving your kid a tablet or a phone, you’re really giving them a bottle of wine or a gram of coke,”

2/3rds of her clients are aged between 13 -20 years and it’s alarming how sexting and exchange of pornographic images are considered normal by kids in this age bracket. Phones and tablets have become an extension of kids nowadays. You’ll never see your teenage kids without their phone. Kids as young as 3-4 are glued to tablets and phones. She’s right when she says


“Why do we pay so much less attention to those things than we do to drugs and alcohol when they work on the same brain impulses?”

 Infographic Source: Turner-AC Nielsen Research


 Our Role As Parents:

Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We have witnessed aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not plugged in. How can we help our children from getting hooked t these devices? We need to look for the signs of social withdrawal and changes in their behavioural pattern. This digital activity may not seem like a real addiction to you, but it is.


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