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Study says smartphone addiction has physical impact on brain

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- A new study released by 'Addictive Behaviors' says smartphone addiction has a similar impact on the brain to that of drug addiction.

With smartphones continuing to become an indispensable piece of humans' lives, the dangers of overuse are evident.

The study found that, of the participants, those with smartphone addiction showed material changes to the size and shape of the brain, similar to drug addiction.

However, this isn't first suggestion of smartphones causing harm, especially for those who treat other addictions.

"I see the impact. I find the impact on relationships, I see the impact on kids being able to have face-to-face conversations," said Deb Piskoty, AODA Clinical Supervisor at Peaceful Solutions Counseling.

And whether its "likes" or other forms of positive feedback coming from the device, the impact is instant.

"It gives people a dopamine rush; dopamine and endorphins, just like a drug does," said Piskoty.

Since the release of the first smartphone only a decade ago, the average age of smartphone users continues getting younger, giving early access to addictive behavior.

"I think the addiction itself is scary because of what else it could possibly lead to in terms of addiction," said Piskoty.

Piskoty suggests setting screen time limits for your kids and considering not allowing them to keep their phones bedside them before bed, "because that gives them time to power down and be able to have restful sleep," said Piskoty.

Pisktoty advises to be mindful of kids' behaviors, as the long-term impact smartphone addiction could have our youth is still largely unknown.

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