If you’re like many modern parents in today’s digital age, then you probably spend a lot of time asking your teen to put away the phone, tablet or laptop. Now it appears that adolescents are using technology — rather than substances — to get high. I-dosing music — and a track called “Gates of Hades” in particular — is the latest risk that threatens the well-being of kids.
What Is I-Dosing?
I-dosing is a type of loud, droning music written in only two tones. The music is “designed to alter the brain waves, just like other drugs can do,” according to Health.More4Kids.com. The combination of tones allegedly brings about “a state of ecstasy.” In some cases, people who listen to “idoser” tracks are also convinced to buy a guide to i-dosing that explains how to get high.
Although some feel binaural audio doesn’t influence the brain, others suggest that testing the brain’s response in this way can lead to real substance abuse — and bigger problems. In fact, binaural audio often mimics the same brainwave activity as marijuana, cocaine, LSD and ecstasy.
The Negative Effects of I-Dosing
Cracking down on i-dosing may be more difficult than you think. Think of how many hours your teen is online, whether that’s doing homework or posting to Twitter. Limiting screen time helps, as does paying close attention if your teen expresses a constant desire to listen to music. Although Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and other legitimate music sources are safe, websites such as YouTube may not be.
Signs needing further attention include:
- An obsessive need to listen to music. If your teen starts ignoring other activities and friends in favor of their headphones, i-dosing could be a problem.
- Odd behavior. If your teen acts as if he is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you are certain he hasn’t been using, check his devices for digital drugs.
- Inappropriate laughing, hyperactivity or uncontrollable shaking while listening to music.
- Trying drugs or alcohol after spending a lot of time using digital drugs.
What to Do If Digital Drugs Are a Problem
There are several steps you can take to avoid problems with i-dosing:
- Check browser histories and use parental controls. Maintain a family policy that permits you to spot-check visited websites, especially as they pertain to music.
- Find out what they’re listening to. If your teen is listening to music intently, ask in a nonthreatening way if you can share.
- Pay attention to all aspects of their life. Teens who feel isolated or unhappy are more likely to experiment with mind-altering substances and activities. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts fail. Keep trying. Be an active listener.
- Be aware of the signs of alcohol and drug abuse. Slipping grades, new friends, a loss of interest in old activities and sudden changes in mood are all warning signs of drug abuse.
- Have a discussion. Talk with your teen openly about the risks of using drugs, alcohol and digital drugs, and set clear boundaries.