Seeking Help in Recovery? There’s an App for That
Apps for Recovering Addicts
As any recovering addict understands, the quest for sobriety is a life-long mission. Evidence shows that a strong support network is vital in helping addicts stay clean and sober after rehab. Typically, an addict may have one or more sponsors, a network of new, sober friends and professional support from ongoing treatment or recovery meetings.
Sometimes, however, it's not enough.
What if you move to a new job in a new city and need help while you're establishing yourself in an unfamiliar environment? What if you're going through a period of sudden stress and you can't reach your sponsor or normal contacts on the phone? What if you're wavering in the early hours of the morning and you feel completely alone?
Into this gap steps social media and modern technology. These days, you are never more than couple of clicks away from a source of support, motivation, inspiration and encouragement, no matter where in the world you are, or what time of day it is. Social media sites specifically for recovering addicts are supportive places where everyone knows what you're going through—because they're going through the same things, too. Apps for those in recovery can help you track your time sober, find a meeting near you, and avoid addiction triggers, while also providing daily meditations and motivations.
The Benefits of Social Media for Recovering Addicts
This is perhaps the single most important benefit of social media versus face to face support: the fact that it can be accessed any time, anywhere, for any reason. When the difference between relapsing or not can be just a few moments in a stressful situation, social media is a simply unbeatable tool for those in recovery.
2: Unsociable Hours
Similarly, social media recovery sites are there for you even in the middle of the night. With a global reach, there are sure to be others awake and online at the same time as you, even if they are in different time zones. It doesn't matter—addiction is a universal struggle, the world over.
3: Unfamiliar Areas
If you are new to a city, or on a visit somewhere unfamiliar, you may not know where to go to attend a meeting. Social media helps you quickly find that information when you need it most, and will also potentially put you in touch with other local contacts if you're going to be there for a while.
4: An Expanded and Extended Support Network
The more people in your corner, the greater your chances of staying sober. Recovering addicts can form strong and lasting bonds with online friends; even if you never meet in person, don't under-estimate the power of this social and supportive vibe. Many addicts find themselves suffering from some degree of social phobia during the early stages of recovery and may not wish to meet new people in person. Reaching out to others from the safety of your keyboard is a great way to get the support you need.
5: Shared Experiences and Inspiration
Need to know if what you're experiencing is normal? Have a difficult situation coming up and wondering how others faced it? Social media recovery sites are the perfect arenas for sharing recovery stories and experiences. While everyone's recovery is unique to them, snippets from other people are always useful to apply to your own life. When your recovery is going well and you're just seeking a daily dose of motivation or inspiration, these sites have that in spades. On good days and on bad, recovery social media sites have what you need.
A Word of Warning
Just as the online world can be a haven for recovering addicts, however, it can also be a dangerous place. Use common sense when sharing personal information with those you don't know, and carefully check the credentials of anyone who is offering you treatment advice. You might want to monitor your own online time carefully too, as it's not uncommon for an addictive personality to start spending far too long online.
Finally, remember that not everyone understands the dangers of substance abuse in the way that you do. On non-specialist social media sites such as Facebook, you'll frequently be confronted with images or words you may find triggering for your addiction, or you may get unsupportive reactions from so-called friends.
Choose your company wisely, however, and social media can be one of the greatest tools in your recovery box.