Addicts who want to recover, but may have certain social anxieties that inhibit them from being able to participate in traditional socialized treatment or 12-step recovery programs such as the popular AA or NA now have a seemingly successful alternative. Online social media websites are popping up that are focused around the creation of recovery groups, and providing them with a forum to talk and share about their addiction and experience in recovery in a similar way that they would in a traditional meeting. In addition, these sick and suffering or recovery addicts, their friends and loved ones, and professional health care providers can all be centered in the same real-time discussion forums if they choose, thus, providing real-time discussions and constant support to these addicts, which allows those who have gone through traditional treatment to continue their care even after treatment is over. This method can potentially help to increase the overall health and wellbeing of the recovering addict while reducing the cost of healthcare to both parties. This is revolutionary to the world of addiction medicine and could change the way addicts recover worldwide.
The statistics show that nearly seventy-five percent of the United States population are members of at least one social media community. In this contemporary era, even modern health facilities use the Internet, social networks, and other online community databases for physicians, pharmacists, and patients in order to exchange information. With an overwhelming amount of the population wired into technology, it is no surprise that addiction recovery is becoming technologized.
The recent past has shown that online social communities have shown significant positive mental health benefits for those suffering from diseases and their families affected by those diseases by bringing others together who are going through similar struggles or can offer support by sharing their strength from their own experiences. The connectivity that these social networks offer these recovering addicts and their supporters such as physicians and loved ones, social media has made reach a new level. It now is effective in achieving a full-time recovery solution available to anyone with Internet access.
The variety of recovery based social media websites vary in degree of comfort level of privacy, availability of personal goals, options to monitor progress, ability to participate in one-on-one chats or group chats, opportunities to share stories and information in interactive blogs, as well as frequently updated resources, forums, and other multimedia recovery tools that can be useful to a struggling addict. For the addict who has spent most of their time as a recluse, it can be a relief that they do not have to begin their recovery journey, at least at first, out in the world before they are ready and comfortable to meet others face to face.