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Why Do Recovery Treatment Facilities Restrict Television Time?

Many sober living homes and treatment facilities for addiction recovery may limit or restrict the amount of time that clients can access television. Some places may only allow the television to be turned on during certain times of the day. Others may limit the total amount of time that a person can watch television on a daily basis. Some of us may enjoy watching television to relax or catch up on current events. We may have shows that we want to watch as part of a series that we follow and might be upset by this restriction. However, treatment centers are strict about television access for many reasons that can be beneficial to our overall health and wellness. Changing our relationship to television might even help us find more fulfillment when we leave our treatment center.

Television as a Sedentary Activity

Recovery from addiction involves adopting healthy habits to replace unhealthy ones. Recovery involves looking at our whole-self health and wellness, which might include changing some other patterns that are not directly related to our addictions. Television can eat up huge parts of a person’s day. Our brains and bodies are wired to attempt to gain the most stimulation for the least amount of effort. This adaptation made sense in primitive times when food and other resources were scarce. We now live in a world where most of our necessary resources are accessed with ease. We no longer need to walk or run several miles to get a change of scenery or see new people. We can simply turn on a television and gain these visuals. Unfortunately, we advanced in technology and resource allocation quicker than our bodies could adapt to the change. Therefore, we still require exercise and movement to maintain our physical health. Television can take away time that we could otherwise use to engage in more meaningful and healthy activities.

Distracting Effects of Television

Television can also be distracting us from our recovery. Even if left on in the background, we might find it challenging to focus with too much noise or stimulation going on around us. By keeping televisions turned off during the day, sober living homes can set up a quiet and distraction-free environment. We can then focus on our recovery and learn the new skills needed to cope with life when we leave treatment. Television can also distract us from learning new activities that we might enjoy more. Many programs will introduce us to new ways of living during treatment, which involves more than just coping skills! We might learn new hobbies or divisionary activities that can bring value to our lives. Recovery is really about enhancing our overall quality of life–when has television ever improved anyone’s quality of life? We may feel that television can help us to socialize. To a degree, television can give people something to talk about. However, when joining a new recovery group, people may benefit from activities that focus on one another instead of a screen. Television can deprive us of the focus that we need to be successful in our recovery from addiction.

Television as an Addiction

Addiction can take many forms in different vices. Overall, addiction occurs when we gain a high reward for a meager amount of effort. Substances, like cocaine, can quickly hijack our brain’s natural reward system. At the same time, we have done nothing to gain such an extreme and unnatural high. Television can be similar in that we get a lot of stimulation for a very low amount of effort. Any substance or activity that has such a disproportionate effort to reward ratio can be addictive. We may spend hours in front of the television as our brains do very little work to gain a high reward for stimulation. Recovery treatment facilities are actively focused on steering us away from quick-fix solutions to boredom or loneliness. Television can easily replace other addictions with its allure and ease of access. We can easily fall into the trap of disconnecting with our loved ones at home or escaping from our lives by watching hour upon hour of television. 

Recovery is about learning to appreciate healthy habits that might require more effort while helping us to grow as individuals. Television, while providing us with information and new, does little in terms of helping us grow. We can start by taking the hours we may be spending in front of the TV and putting that time to something of value.

Sober living homes create a healthy, safe, and supportive environment for people needing recovery from addictions. Many of these homes have guidelines and rules that may seem restrictive or unreasonable at first glance. Many treatment programs restrict the amount of time people spend on devices, like cell phones, tablets, and laptops. They may also enact strict television watching policies, like limiting the number of hours that a TV can be turned on or restricting television to specific times of the day. Recovery from addiction involves making lifestyle changes for the better. Recovery is about more than just remaining sober. Recovery is about adding value to life, finding purpose, and connecting to ourselves and others. At Camelback Recovery, we believe that our residents can focus on their recovery with much more clarity by minimizing distractions. We offer plenty of activities that will enhance your life and help you find healthy ways of coping when out of treatment.

Call us at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living programs!

How Is Technology Helping Those in Addiction Recovery?

Advances in technology have impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. For those of us struggling with addiction, technology has helped us in many ways, like providing assessments, finding services, gaining information, and maintaining support. While many of these advances are helpful, some negative consequences, like cell phone addiction, have been commonplace. The key is to find a balance to gain benefits and minimize unintended consequences. We need to be cautious and verify information found on the internet. We also could become addicted to cell phones or other devices.

Access to Self-Assessments

Some people may be unsure of what their underlying issues may be. They may feel confused or misinformed about their behaviors and thoughts. Online, there are hundreds of mental health and addiction assessments available for people to take. Self-assessments are relatively quick and easy to complete. While they may not provide a comprehensive evaluation, self-assessments can help people narrow down some of their issues and can point people in the right direction towards getting help. We must also be sure to verify with our doctor or a medical professional about any problems uncovered during an online self-assessment. A self-assessment is not a diagnosis; however, self-assessments can help us open up a conversation with professionals to begin finding appropriate help.

Finding Services and Treatment Facilities

The internet has provided an easy way for people to search for services when they need help. Searching the web can help us find treatment facilities or out-patient clinics in our area. We can also find support groups in our community by completing an online search. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have a substantial online presence, which can help us find 12-Step programs in our communities. Treatment facilities and sober living homes, like Camelback Recovery, have been using technology and social media to spread their message of recovery and hope to those in need.

Access to Knowledge and Information

When in recovery, we may struggle with a specific issue and can benefit from more knowledge on the topic. Online magazines and blogs can provide a wealth of information ranging from tips on remaining sober to information on treatment facilities. We might find information on cooking healthy meals, exercise routines, yoga practices, mindfulness exercises, and other activities that we can engage in to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some apps offer entire exercise plans and even meal plans to help us. Unfortunately, we also have to be mindful of misinformation. Due to the ease of posting information online, people may post things that are not true or even harmful. Be sure to review the source of your information carefully to see if the information is valid. Sources from trusted publications or government websites are often more reputable than online forums, where anyone can freely post whatever they want–accurate or not!

Maintain Support During Lockdowns and Restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in our world. The disruption in our lives and routines has left many of us struggling with our mental health. While under lockdowns or other social restrictions, many of us felt alone and had a difficult time maintaining a support system. Technology has helped many people continue getting the support they needed during lockdowns. Apps, like Zoom and Facetime, allowed for people to continue meeting with their counselors or engaging in group therapy sessions. They also helped people maintain contact with family members and other supports. Telehealth sessions have become popular for medical appointments and screenings to provide help while minimizing contact in public spaces.

Issues Arising from Technology

Technology also has some negative consequences. Some people find themselves addicted to their phones or feel anxious to stay up to date with social media continually. Push notifications can be intrusive and disruptive to our daily lives. When entering treatment, cell phones might be a distraction to those who need to focus on their recovery. Many apps have been developed to help people curb their cell phone usage by limiting the number of times social media apps are opened or limiting our daily screen time. We can look at our phone usage in our setting menu to get an idea of which apps dominate our time on cell phones. People in recovery from addiction are also prone to cell phone addiction. They may replace their drinking or drug habits with excessive phone usage. Finding healthy habits, like exercise and healthy eating, can replace our bad habits more effectively. When we engage in recovery, we find healthy ways of living that can help us resist replacing our practices with other addictive behaviors.

 

Technology can be a handy tool for those in recovery. We can find services, information, support systems, or self-assessments online. We can also use technology to maintain contact with our support system and medical professionals when direct connection is not an option. Some issues can arise from the use of technology, like cell phone addiction or misinformation. We must be careful to find information from trustworthy sources. We also should be mindful of our usage on devices, as they may distract us from sobriety and from living our lives. Camelback Recovery has been using technology and social media to provide information for those suffering from addiction. We have a social media presence to spread our message to others in need. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information about our sober living homes!