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It's About People 2022: Embracing Digital Transformation: For a Sustainable and Ethical Future

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Effective Treatment of Digital Addiction

UroŇ° Perko
Pelican Caritas Institute

Smart electronic devices have thoroughly invaded our households. Beside numerous benefits there are also various negative impacts from technology overuse. Number of digital addicts is rising on a yearly basis, mainly young people. We have reviewed treatment programs in Slovenia, for different addictions in professional and scientific literature. We have analyzed demands, methods and goals of individual program and then assume their prosperity for digital addiction treatment. Treatment programs differ in various factors. Some programs demand abstinence and are more challenging, while others are mostly focused on reducing harm. Programs can be short or long term, open or closed type. Chemical addictions can be carried out in either inpatient or outpatient treatments, while non-chemical such as digital addictions can only be implemented as outpatient therapy. It is reasonable to have different treatment programs considering various kinds of addicts and addictions. It appears that those treatment programs that apply longer periods of abstinence, where life skills are taught and family members take part and provide after care, are more successful. Short-term and harm-reducing oriented programs cannot offer aforementioned. If complete and long-term abstinence with total change of lifestyle is the principal goal, then only demanding long-term programs can be really effective. Since digital addictions are classified as demanding and complex ones, where an ulterior problem is represented by the near impossibility of control of abstinence, closed-commune treatment program seems especially effective.



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