At Vencer Youth Services we focus on 3 types of addictions:

As adolescent brains continue to develop, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible.

Adolescent Substance Abuse

Vencer Youth Services provides substance abuse treatment for teenagers. These substances include but are not limited to alcohol and both illicit and prescription drugs. Addiction can be further compounded with the pressure of school, peers, and family conflicts. A great treatment program will address important areas of life including family support and academics.

It is also important to note that adolescent brains are still in development. For this reason it is important to receive treatment as early as possible.

Our evidence-based approach to rehabilitation is holistic and focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of teens and their families.

1 in 10 youth gamers exhibit compulsive addictive behavior

Adolescent Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction can be described as an impulse control disorder. It is very similar to pathological gambling, which does not involve substance abuse.  “Gaming addiction” is also known as pathological or compulsive and excessive use of video games played on a computer or television.

Those suffering from gaming addiction may use the internet to access multi-user domain and multi-player online role playing games. In these electronic environments, users interact with one another to achieve goals, accomplish missions, and reach high scores in a virtual fantasy world. Role playing, fighting, and killing are all part of this electronic social environment presented and packaged into rich media graphics, creating a platform for adolescents to easily transition from a hobby into and addictive compulsion.

Individuals suffering from gaming addiction use the virtual fantasy world to connect with real people through the Internet, as a substitution for real-life human connection. Those suffering from gaming addiction can develop emotional attachments to internet friends and activities all from their computer screen. Gamers enjoy the social aspects of meeting, socializing, and exchanging ideas through this virtual world. This can create justification of an adolescent’s sense of relationship with other players that for all intents and purposes are strangers.

While there is still much research being conducted on the subject of electronic gaming, it is believed that males are more likely to become addicted to video games. Some research has suggested that nearly 1 in 10 youths gamers (ages 8-18) are pathological gamers exhibiting  compulsive addictive behavior.

Warning Signs

Gaming addictions result in interpersonal, academic, financial, and occupational problems that are characteristic of other addictions.

Compulsive gamers who attempt to quit experience feelings of anger, depression, relief, fantasies about the game, mood swings, anxiety, fear, irritability, sadness, loneliness, boredom, restlessness, procrastination, and upset stomach.

Physical discomfort or medical problems such as dry eyes, back trouble, severe headaches, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, eating irregularities such as skipping meals, failure to attend to personal hygiene, and sleep disturbance can also result.

  • Using gaming as a way to escape from problems or to relieve mental challenges such as guilt, anxiety, or depression
  • Lying to family, friends, or therapist in order to conceal the extent of the problem
  • Risking loss of significant relationships, education, or career opportunities
  • Exhibiting frustration when attempting to cut down use of the gaming
  • Excessive preoccupation
  • Increased amount of gaming in order to achieve satisfaction
  • Unsuccessful efforts to control or cut back amount of time gaming
  • Fatigue and falling asleep during school
  • Unable to complete school and homework assignments on time
  • Declining Grades and/or failing classes
  • Quitting extra curricular activities such as sports and other hobbies
  • Isolating from family and friends

What Can Parents Do

  • Educate yourself and your kids
  • Listen
  • Look for opportunities to discuss the risks
  • Know what behavior is normal
  • Be involved
  • Help your child develop coping skills
  • Understand the role of the family
  • Seek professional help
  • Get an assessment