How Social Media can help people in Addiction Treatment?
- It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. You can’t reach your sponsor and the idea of going back to drinking seems irresistible.
- You returned from your out-of-state residential drug and alcohol rehab and miss communicating with the fellow people in recovery you met in treatment.
- Or you moved to a new city and you want to know where you can find an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting.
In all three incidents a person in recovery’s problems could have been solved or greatly helped with social media. And if you were fortunate to go to an addiction treatment center with a strong social media presence – you are in luck. For example, the Cove Center for Recovery provides its clients with a host of social media options after discharge. Whether it is Facebook or Twitter the Cove allows its alumni to connect with each other socially.
See how Social Media can play a key role in Addiction Treatment
Addiction Treatment before Social Media
Well a few years ago before the advent of social media – a person back from addiction treatment would face some enormous hurdles staying in touch with friends they made at rehab. They had to pretty much develop their own support recovery network from scratch. There was no such thing as a Facebook online alumni program.
Then Facebook and Twitter came along and everything changed. Now today social media continues to play a larger role in the addiction treatment profession. As the popularity of social media skyrockets, an increasing number of people in recovery are discovering that they can use the technology to connect instantaneously – even on their mobile phone – at any time with hundreds, if not thousands of their peers in recovery. Such online connections have proven to be a critical element for those in recovery.
Inspirations for Youth and Families recently started the Facebook page “How to raise a drug-free teen,” where members and page administrators post inspirational quotes, articles, images and multimedia about recovery. Fans of the page – are an important component. As they often post content that is useful to the community.
Social Media has broken the Addiction Treatment barrier
Social networking sites offer great promise for those recovering from addiction. And it has really developed within the industry. Whether you are a professional or client it has become much more accepted. The fears and phobias about it have started to slip away and social media is an integral part of recovery. To put it in simple terms – social networking empowers people in recovery to share experiences and help each other.
And since so many people in recovery come to the Cove from remote places – when they return home – social media allows them to maintain valuable communication with the fine people they met in the dual diagnosis drug and alcohol abuse treatment facility.
Social media in addiction treatment is not always resigned for helping those from your drug and alcohol behavioral health facility. There are countless times when a person having a tough time reaches out to a community manager. And it is not good practice for them to give treatment advice. But providing them with a helpline phone number or suggest that they go to an Al-Anon meeting can go a long way.
Social Media was pivotal after the Today Show contacted a Treatment Center
On one occasion the Today Show contacted a rehab facility. They were looking to interview an injured teen athlete who became addicted to pain medication. So the social media community manager sent out a SOS digital marketing signal. In the end he did not find a teen to do the Today Show interview. But what he received in return was much more valuable than a prime time media placement. Through one of the Facebook groups a heart broken mom shared her devastating story about her son’s fatal use of opiates with him.
The community manager had her guest blog her story on the company’ web site. Not only did it resonate in the blogosphere. It was broadcast through the treatment center’s massive social media universe of 70,000 touch points. After it was all said and done the blog was shared over 500 times and counting. And Gina Demaria, author and forsaken mom of the blog – Brave Mom shares tragic story of her son’s opiate addiction benefited emotionally. As she was able to have her son’s memory etched in the minds of so many. Furthermore, mom’s who experienced a similar plight – were able to identify with the story.
“I found that especially Facebook has been very useful in order to support, encourage, connect and motivate anybody in the community.”
Michael Price, clinical director of the Cove Center for Recovery.
Cove Center for Recovery uses Facebook as part of their Recovery Support Network
“Social media can encourage a person seeking recovery to change their life style. They can go from running the streets and dealing to a life style of supporting and loving each other,” said Michael Price, clinical director of the Cove Center for Recovery. “And also influence one another to do the right thing and follow the principles of the program.”
“I found that especially Facebook has been very useful in order to support, encourage, connect and motivate the addiction treatment community,” added Price. “It also comes in handy as a networking tool for work and other aftercare services such as our alumni program.”
The Cove Center for Recovery and Inspirations for Youth and Families have closed Facebook alumni groups. They built these communities together so clients can stay connected and support each other. Also they can get advice on upcoming meetings in their area, support groups, picnics, sober parties, and other events in the community.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in recovery. Because you still need that daily connection. If someone in a Facebook group says they’re thinking about getting high – poof an outpouring of social media tough love posts come shooting out.