Online Addiction in Teens

NYCSAT provides early intervention treatment for Teenagers at risk in the NYC area. 

There has been a profound shift in our culture due to the internet. The internet provides stimulation beyond instant gratification. It's hyper-gratifying nature presents youth with a virtual array of vices. When consumed without limits and bounds, these can equal or eclipse those addictions found in real life, such as alcohol dependence or addiction to drugs.

Technology is a gateway to a wide spectrum of addictions. The virtual world provides a deceptively inexpensive high. If a youth’s reality is not on par with their fantasy it  drives them deeper into the virtual world (ex.: a teen who struggles with weight goes into a chatroom and pretends to be his ideal self). Most teens have a perceived personal immunity from consequences.

Most parents, teacher and counselors are unaware of the new epidemic that is already on itʼs way: teens and young adults are getting hooked on the potentially dangerous world of sex, porn and online addictions. 

Did you know:

  • The average age of exposure to pornography online is age 11.
  • Youth who use the net are vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
  • Twenty five percent of teens have electronically sent or posted online, nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves.


Here is a list of risky Teen behavior:

  • Interacting with unknown people
  • Having unknown people on buddy/friends list
  • Sending personal information to unknown people met online
  • Downloading images from file-sharing programs
  • Visiting X-rated sites on purpose
  • Talking online to unknown people about sex
  • Engaging in online sex with strangers with the use of webcams


In and of itself, technology is not bad, but it can take our teens  away from the real world and create an exciting and captivating imbalance in their lives. The imbalance can be the problem. Real relationships have real challenges and struggles. They require emotional investments.

As virtual relationships replace real relationships, the online community supersedes family, anonymity displaces responsibility, and fantasy takes over reality.

The ultimate manifestation of these technological addictions in teens is expressed through the withdrawal from their present real world and total dependency on the online world and virtual relationships.

Technology induced addictions include excessive texting and sexting, an obsessive need to constantly check email, compulsive internet surfing and blogging, IMing, MySpace, online gambling, online and other computer games, pornography, etc

Youth most at risk:

  • Girls/boys who are gay/questioning sex identity
  • Youth with history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Youth who have delinquent tendencies
  • Youth who experience extreme pressure to succeed and strive to be perfect
  • Teenagers who suffer from depression
  • Teenagers who struggle with social interactions
  • Teenagers alienated from their parents
  • Youth engaged in sexual risk taking
  • Teenager who feel isolated and alone


If you are concerned about your teenager’s compulsive behavior online consider calling NYCSAT at 212.665.7352  for a confidential consultation.

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Phone consultations are available from the convenience of your home. Call the number below or email us to schedule an appointment.

Call 212-665-7352