by Justice Etafo – Staff Reporter
Over the years, the Average American man or woman has grown to spend a total of 8 hours on their phone each day. However, Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that currently there has been a decline in teenage drug use. A correlation between the rise in technological use and the decrease in drug and alcohol use is possible, but correlation does not mean that these two things are directly affecting each other.
Technology is becoming ever so apparent in our everyday lives, and because of this I think that teenagers not using drugs because their mobile entertaining devices are constantly stimulating them.
As people we are constantly trying to use our surroundings or personal interests to drown out the mundanity of everyday life. It is not surprising that we depend on such things, phones continue to offer us distracting bliss which is beneficial and a determining factor on what people choose to do in their free time.
Dr. Silvia Martins a substance abuse expert at Columbia University, said that, “playing video games, using social media, fulfills the necessity of sensation seeking, their need to seek novel activity.” This “sensation seeking” is prioritized in the form of phones rather than drugs as people often weigh their options and find that phones can offer more as they hold less negative effects. This decreased use of drugs could also be attributed to the constant ads updated with the technological period and informational campaigns run by antidrug companies, who know the harmful effects that drugs pose to both your health and society as a whole and aim to stop use.
Phones have simply almost become an absolute necessity for everyday life, but according to Dr. Volkow teens can literally get high when playing these games.
Not everyone who spends large amounts of time on their phone is considered an addict, but those that have an unusual dependency on their device are at risk. Not to say that this is a bad thing, I think it is quite beneficial in the least. The use of technology in everyday life recently become an inevitability, but this increased use of technology with the downfall in the use of drugs has led me to believe that technological use is replacing drug use in addiction.