For millions of people, social media platforms are not just a tool, but a way of life. Many of us have moved beyond email and have embraced checking Twitter accounts, Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and a host of other sites multiple times a day.
Social media platforms have not just stayed places where we interact with peers far and near. They have usurped the role of media and become one of the primary methods of communication sharing in our world today.
One of the more poorly understood areas of social media is how networking on social media sites influences substance use and the spread of addiction. Research is ongoing, but there is reason to have cause for concern as we continue to understand the spread of misinformation on social media platforms.
Social media can also be used to understand tobacco, alcohol, and substance use better. Tracking these issues through social media may provide ways to implement early intervention and achieve successful substance use recovery.
Social networks have a profound effect on substance use. Research shows that they have significant effects on peer groups as more data is shared between them. In fact, not only can it lead to substance use among new users of social media, but it can also increase use among groups where addiction is already prevalent.
Here is the bottom line. Social media can be a great tool, but it is a poor master. As a person in recovery, you have to be wary of things that can lead you astray. Read on as we discuss how to keep yourself safe on social media.
Keeping Yourself Safe Online
There are real dangers of being exposed to addictive substances through social media platforms. As more people become connected and go online, social media continues to shift into a clearinghouse to recruit people into substance use.
In the advent of the digital age, criminal drug networks have evolved to seek new revenue streams where old ones have dried up. Many have begun using peer social networks to target new clients and create new markets.
While the world can be dangerous, in real life or online, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Some of these are:
- Keeping an eye out for threats on the internet or smartphone apps and knowing to log out and go offline to avoid them.
- Sharing anything you see with local law enforcement so they can analyze and neutralize the threat.
- Sharing what you have found with the Drug Enforcement Administration at DEA.gov/onepill
- Sharing with others that no matter who you are, one pill can kill.
Leaning On Your Brothers
One social network you can rely on is the support structure you have come to find at Renaissance Ranch. As a men-only treatment center, you have found a unique system that uplifts you in the ways you need.
At Renaissance Ranch, we understand that you are on a lifelong journey toward sobriety. That means that each day is a new day, with its own challenges and triumphs. You will have your ups and downs, but you will also always have us.
One of the critical ways you can lean on your support system as an alumnus is through the Band of Brothers alumni program. Your peer mentor in this recovery association has been exactly where you are, is there to listen, and can help you through your struggles.
Being on social media can be a frustrating experience. You may encounter many dangers while surfing the internet, but staying on the sober path is possible when you remember to lean on your brothers for support.
Staying Social, Sober Living
As an alumnus, you may be living in a sober living situation. Sober living is a great way to learn to be independent again while also having access to the same level of care as inpatient living. In fact, it can make you safer, too.
Many sober living situations include social media and internet use monitoring. This means that someone will be there to make sure that you stay on the path to lifelong recovery while reaching back out to the world, online and in person.
Sober Grid: A Recovery Option
Just because you can do something does not always mean you should. A small child may be able to ride a bike with enough time and practice, but it would probably be best if they start with the safety of training wheels.
Well, there are training wheels for you, as well, when it comes to social media use in recovery. Did you know there are apps you can download that help you to filter out the dangers of internet use while you stay sober?
Sober Grid is one such app, backed and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sober Grid helps you connect with other people in recovery and connects you with additional peer coaches and resources to help when you are feeling low.
With Sober Grid, you can also easily post when you are having a hard time or experiencing a craving. This alerts your mentor and peer networks that you are in trouble and prompts them to respond with resources to keep you safe and sober.
Apps like this are a great tool as you continue to use all the resources available to you as an alumnus of the Renaissance Ranch men’s program. Recovery is possible, and you can stay safe and sober in the digital age.
No matter where we go, where we look, or what we do, social media is everywhere. Whether it is keeping in touch with family on Facebook, watching Twitter for updates, scrolling through images on Instagram, or watching videos and content on TikTok, social media defines much of our world. It is even becoming common for social media to be a part of our work lives, entwining itself into the fabric of our reality. However, there are dangers on social media for those who are in recovery. It can provide new networks to help you reach a healthier life, or a pathway to dangers and past temptations. If you are struggling, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.