Using Social Media While in Recovery: Are Triggers Really a Concern?

Can social media trigger our recovery?Consider the following story:

Lori Wilson (a fictitious name is used) was seeking outpatient treatment for addiction recovery. She’d already completed residential treatment, but when she started returning home each night from therapy, however, she didn’t feel quite comfortable with the open space and schedule that she suddenly had. She was used to the routine of her residential program; she began spending countless hours on Facebook and other forms of social media – and while it seemed harmless at first, her mental health started to decline, and she noticed herself experiencing more cravings than she did when social media didn’t have such an active presence in her life. Why is this?

Social media in and of itself can be detrimental to our mental, physical and spiritual health if used in excess and for the wrong reasons. In 2016, the Daily Dot, a website that provides the latest information on technology and internet culture, noted the many ways that social media can bring us down:

  • We may begin to pick up a social media addiction, which only replaces the addiction that we’re now working towards recovering from
  • Sleep deprivation can occur if we’re up all hours of the night tending to social media
  • There is so much information on the internet; so much, in fact, that we can easily become overwhelmed by the countless people, places and things to look into
  • If we begin comparing ourselves to others, we may find greater pings of anxiety and depression
  • Since America does have a “party culture”, it’s not uncommon to witness drugs and alcohol being glamorized via social media
  • Misinformation is a major culprit when it comes to the internet – and could lead us down some very dangerous paths regarding detox or alternatives to treatment
  • And more

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research conducted a study of 259 individuals in addiction recovery and found that most participants used social media daily. To make the most of social media, consider downloading an app that supports recovery – and connect with others who are working hard towards sobriety, too.

Cumberland Heights in Murfreesboro Tennessee is a 12-step based outpatient alcohol & drug rehab program. Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals age 18 and above who may be in the early stages of dependency or are experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.