Is Your Child Addicted to Video Games?

It’s often difficult for parents to know how much time their children spend online. Often children play video games, view videos and browse social networking sites. Spending too much time online can lead to the deterioration of your child’s school work and can cause problems with their relationships with family and friends.

Studies have shown that children ages 8 to 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming media for fun, including TV, music, video games and other content.  About two-thirds of 8 to 18 year olds had no rules on the amount of time spent watching TB, playing video games or using a computer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit their child’s screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day and children under 2 have no TV or internet exposure.

Research shows that academic failure correlates with addictive video game play, and to a higher incidence of attention problems. Conversely, academic achievers spend less time online.  Research has also revealed that child and adolescent video game addiction correlates with functional impairment, emotional problems, poor conduct, hyperactivity and peer problems, as well as with depression and social phobia. In addition, several studies have proven a relationship between excessive video game play and obesity and poor diet among children in grades 4 through 6.

Parents should discuss with their children their expectations for responsible online usage and set limits on how much time can be spent online.  Dr. Gonzalez suggests the following rules for internet use:

  • Regularly determine how much time your kids are online every day.
  • Don’t put a computer or game console in your child’s bedroom—rather put them in the living room.
  • Avoid online activity before bedtime.
  • Charge children’s cell or smart phone or other handheld devices overnight in your bedroom.
  • Be a role model. Set an example with your own internet usage.
  • Use an alarm clock or timer to limit your child’s time online.
  • Provide alternatives to online activity and video games: sports, reading, play dates, time with pets, etc.
  • Set a rule: no handheld devices at the table during meals.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child with a Flushing Hospital Medical Center Child Psychiatrist, please call 718-670-5562

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Addiction

Addiction is a very complex chronic condition that causes a person to be dependent on performing an activity or taking a chemical substance in order to get through the day. It is a chronic disorder with psychosocial, environmental, and biological influences that affect a person’s behavior. Very often an addiction can have detrimental effects on a person’s well-being and ability to function normally.
Some of the substances and activities frequently associated with addiction include:
• Alcohol
• Marijuana
• Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP)
• Inhaled substances ( glue and paint thinner)
• Opioid pain killers
• Tobacco
• Sedatives
• Gambling
• Sex
People who are addicts may build up a level of tolerance to whatever it is they are addicted to and may need more and more to satisfy their cravings. If a person who has an addiction is not able to meet the demands of their addiction, their behavior can change dramatically and cause them to act irrationally until the cravings are satisfied.
Some of the reasons people become addicted to a substance or an activity include:
• Feeling of pleasure
• Relief from stress
• Performance improvement
• Peer pressure curiosity
Professional help for the different types of addiction disorders do exist. The first step is usually having the person with the addiction realize that they have a problem and be willing to try to treat it.  It is helpful if the reasons that a person has become addicted to a drug or an activity can be identified when trying to determine the appropriate plan of action.  Often treatment options may include prescribed medications along with individual or group counseling.  Flushing Hospital offers a specialized unit for people who have addiction problems. To schedule an appointment with this department, please call 718-670-5078.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Your Home Safe for Someone Struggling with Addiction?

Living with someone who is struggling with an addiction can be very difficult. One important aspect of helping them recover is making your home drug and alcohol free. For most, this means emptying the liquor and medicine cabinets. However, that might not be enough as there are many other substances used to get “high” in your home. An addict might turn to any number of household items in times of desperation including:

 

One person a man is fighting Ebola virus himself

• Hand Sanitizers – These items, commonly found in most homes contain up to 60% alcohol. Recently, there have been many reported cases of individuals being rushed to hospital emergency rooms after consuming hand sanitizers hoping to become intoxicated. A simple tip: replace all hand sanitizers with an old fashioned bar of soap.

• Bathroom Items – Those living with an addict should keep track of certain bathroom items as well. Bath salts contain amphetamine–like chemicals that, if sniffed, can be very dangerous. In addition, potpourri, also often found in bathrooms can be smoked and can result in the user experiencing a sense of paranoia, hallucinations and even heart palpitations.

Spice rack

• Spices – Used for cooking or baking, spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon are being consumed by those looking for a high because they contain natural compounds that are known to cause hallucinations and feelings of euphoria when taken in large quantities.

• Whip Its – This term describes the practice of using aerosol spray cans of whipped cream to get high. These cans contain nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. Users can experience highs that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. This practice can be very dangerous to the user.

If someone you know is struggling with addiction, Flushing Hospital has services that can help. We offer both inpatient and outpatient addiction services. For more information about our outpatient Reflection clinic, or our inpatient Chemical dependency Unit, please call 718-670-4416.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.