Technology Detox Program (TDP)

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Technology Addicted Child Detox Treatment Plan (TAC-DTP)

Summary and Timeline

Goal:

  • Objective is to detox Technology Addicted Child (TAC) from technology and then reintroduce tech gradually with aim of responsible/moderate technology use during and after the program.

Requirements:

  • 3 month outpatient program.
  • The TAC is  any child ages four to adult who is technology addicted. The program can also be used to treat  a technology troubled child,  defined by  Dr.  Roberts   as a child whose life is significantly  negatively impacted by  their technology use.
  • Entire family must commit to technology detox including siblings.
  • One parent needs to have full time presence in the home during the detox treatment program.

Week 1; Assessment Phase:

  • Plan meeting schedule  for  four weeks of four family sessions per week. (Family sessions are meetings with combinations of parents, siblings and TAC).
  • Family plans two weeks of structured activities to replace all previous tech time.
  • The TAC has a medication consult for short-term medication intervention for symptom management,  i.e. anxiety and depression.

Week 2-5; Treatment Phase:

  • All recreational tech devices are removed from the home for one week.
  • Family members and the TAC attend  four weekly family sessions with detox clinician.
  • Detox Clinician is “on call” during non-meeting time.
  • Family keeps daily family journal.
  • The TAC meets with an individual, therapist for support,  1-2 times per week.
  • Technology is reintroduced after one week beginning with TV for one hour a day shared by the entire family. During the subsequent four weeks, other forms of technology are reintroduced and limited to one hour per day, per person.
  • Siblings can use technology at their friend’s houses in moderation. The TAC and siblings can use technology for school  and work with close supervision. 

Week 6 -10; Maintenance Phase:

  • Treatment decreases to 1- 2 family contacts per week and TAC continues individual counseling.
  • All family recreational tech  use is limited to one hour per day (i.e. (gaming and social media).
  • The TAC agrees to abstain from  using “tech of choice”  ( tech product that is most likely to result in  addiction relapse, i.e., gaming with favorite game)  for first 3-6 months of recovery.

 Weeks 11-12; Long Term Maintenance Phase:

  • Treatment decreases to 1- 2 family contacts per month and TAC continues individual counseling.
  • Parent can return to work.

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