"This is, in many ways, an experimental and unique center not only in Croatia, but in this part of Europe, as well", said Milan Bandić, the Mayor of Zagreb at the official opening of the Center's new premises, and thanked the whole team for the efforts we have been making.
Within the International month of fight against addiction, the professionals of the Centre participated in the Symposium “New and old addictions from the perspective of health institutions” and by delivering the lecture “Social networks and internet addiction”.
The Internation month of fight against addiction covers the period from 15 November to 15 December. It includes a series of activities directed to public awareness raising about this serious problem of today’s world and is trying to warn the public about the problem of addiction emphasising that all social subjects need to actively fight it. Besides psychoactive substance addiction, the attention of the professional and scientific community has been increasingly directed to behavioural addictions among which an overuse of modern technologies is especially notable among children and youth.
Due to the above mentioned, the Symposium “New and old addictions from the perspective of health institutions” was held in Zagreb on 9 December 2016. It presented new findings about prevention, diagnosing and treatment of addiction, highlighting the old and the new addictions. The Symposium was organised by the Zagreb City Office for Health and Zagreb-Zapad Health Centre.
Prof. Sc.D. Gordana Buljan Flander with the co-author Tea Brezinšćak delivered a presentation “All Day in front of the Monitor – Are We Recognising the Threshold of Modern Technologies Overuse by Children and Youth?” The presentation included a review of scientific research into the overuse of modern technologies by children and youth including the findings of comprehensive research into the habits of children with social networks conducted by the Brave Phone and the Centre, about the risks of that overuse for the socio-emotional welfare of children and youth and risks vs protective factors against the problematic patterns of use. She especially emphasised the responsibility of the society, i.e. all its members, in the prevention of habits in using the Internet in a was which puts children at risk and of the necessary support to children showing addictive patterns of behaviour.
The same day a lecture “Addiction to social networks and the Internet” was delivered in Zabok. It was organised by the Krapinsko-Zagorska County in cooperation with the County Committee for Combatting the Use of Illegal Drugs. The lecture aroused high interest and gathered school principals, teachers, kindergarten teachers and other professionals working in education, social welfare and health institutions, as well as the representatives of the Krapinsko-Zagorska County Employment Service.
Tea Brezinšćak, psychologist, delivered the lecture: “Brand New World: How Can Safety and Welfare of Children be Preserved in the Virtual World?”, directed to the issues of the impact of modern technologies on child development, the protection of children from potentially harmful methods of use, experience and contents in the virtual world, and how constructive and responsible habits of use modern technologies in childhood can be encouraged. She emphasised the responsibility of all members of the society, but also the need of support to adults in the fast changing world so that they can keep pace and support their children’s growing up.
Sandra Kos from the Family Centre of the Social Welfare Centre in Krapina and Andreja Jurić from the Krapinsko-Zagorska Police Headquarters shared their experience in working with children and youth. Their presentations confirmed that trends in their county were in line with research findings and experience of the Centre.
Source of photos from the lecture “Addiction to social networks and the Internet” (Zabok 1-4): http://www.kzz.hr/velik-interes-na-predavanju-o-ovisnosti