Study: Smartphone use can cause addiction similar to substance abuse

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LONG ISLAND -

A new South Korean study shows that adolescents who use cellphones may experience brain changes similar to those fighting substance addiction.

Researchers conducted brain scans on adolescents who appear to be addicted to their cellphones. They found their brain activity was similar to addicts hooked on drugs and alcohol.

The study says possible warning signs of smartphone addiction are a heightened sense of euphoria while using electronic gadgets, neglecting loved ones, feeling restless when not engaged with a phone, craving more time online and withdrawing from other activities.

“It’s an interesting study” says Heather Hugelmeyer," of Northwell Health. “Especially when we talk about addictive disorders."

Hugelmeyer goes on to say that it makes sense that the brain changes with excessive cellphone use just the way it may change with substance abuse.

News 12 Long Island is told that the study is small and preliminary, but important nonetheless.

Therapists say they aren’t surprised by the findings but believe more research needs to be done before any concrete conclusions can be made. 

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