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Do the Olympics Need Addiction Treatment?

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Addiction treatment may be going places it has never gone before:  to the Olympics!  We all know that addictions can be life-changing.  They change the way we think, causing us to lose focus on what is important and to make decisions we normally wouldn’t even dream of.  Addictions take over our lives in so many ways, perhaps no more so than in our behavior.

Why Addiction Treatment May Have Helped Emily to Win Her Gold

Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm discovered the danger of addiction and the need for addiction treatment in the 2012 London Olympics when she won a silver medal in the 100m backstroke.  Her race time in the finals was slower than in the qualifiers the day before, opening the door for U.S. Swimmer Missy Franklin to win the gold.  Heavily favored to win the gold before the finals, Emily had some interesting reasons for missing out on first place.  Twitter obsessed, Emily said immediately following her swim that she had spent too much time on Facebook and Twitter reading messages of well-wishers and assumed she was going to win.  Maybe it is time to think about technology addiction treatment.

“When they tell you a thousand times you are going to get it, somewhere in your mind you are just like, ‘I’ve done it’. But I hadn’t and that was a big learning curve and I obviously need to sign out of Twitter and log out of Facebook a lot sooner than I did,” Seebohm told Australian reporters after the race.

While she later redacted these comments, Olympic swim coaches, including Emily’s coach, have said that social media obsessions and addictions have kept their athletes from remaining focused on their events.

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The chairman of the London 2012 Olympics, Sebastian Coe, a two-time gold medalist, has noticed it himself. “I have found quite a close correlation between the number of tweets at competitive times and the level of under-performance,” Coe told an Australian newspaper.

Do The Fans Need Technology Addiction Treatment As Well?

While it is plausible that the well-wishers of friends, fans, and loved ones may have influenced Emily’s attitude during the race, it is unlikely that she can place her silver performance squarely on the shoulders of technology addiction.

But it isn’t just Olympic athletes who are complaining of technology addiction in the 2012 London Olympics and may need addiction treatment.  Many Olympic fans in the United States feel that their technology addiction is ruining the Olympics.  Constant news alerts, updates and messages on Twitter and Facebook are spoiling the Olympic event results before the events are shown on television in the U.S.

Technology addiction may sound like a joke to some, but addiction treatment counselors know addiction can be caused by a variety of behaviors.  People suffer from food addiction, gambling addiction, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, exercise addiction, and yes, even technology addiction.  If you or someone you love is in need of addiction treatment or needs help with depression, anxiety or stress management, please call us today. We have a women’s program designed to treat the unique needs of women suffering from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Destination Hope is a full-service alcohol abuse, drug addiction and health treatment facility in Florida for men and women over the age of 18 who suffer from substance abuse and mental health disorders.

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