Tag Archives: Social Media in Recovery

Tag Archives: Social Media in Recovery

Social media use in addiction recovery

Statistics report approximately 2.77 billion social media users around the world – and with the ease and accessibility of technology today, it’s not hard to become entrenched in applications like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The Pew Research Center explains that about 88% of young adults ages use social media – but even other age groups, such as those in the 30 to 49-year-old age range, report a total of 64% in use. It’s hard to get away from technology, even though it’s helped us in some instances. Certain apps can help those in addiction recovery track their substance use or keep notes of their mental health state throughout the week – but unfortunately, social media can perpetuate negative thoughts for those who aren’t careful.

The National Eating Disorders Association covered several comments of young teens and adults regarding their perceptions of social media and body image:

“People create a ‘fake’ self.”

“I think that social media platforms hurt because young people are now having their bodies judged online in addition to being judged in person, which causes them to feel trapped.”

“…We’re relying on judgments from people we’ll never meet to determine our worth.” 

For those in addiction recovery, body image can be a concerning topic – especially because many in recovery battle some of the mental, physical and spiritual repercussions that come from substance abuse. Weight gain or weight loss, dental hygiene concerns, aging from drug abuse and more take time to restore in treatment – and if social media isn’t used wisely, it can be a harmful tool that perpetuates harmful thinking.

With social media having so much influence in the United States and abroad, it’s important to consider the fact that what we see online could be significantly impacting the way we view ourselves – but if we can learn to utilize this technology for our benefit, we’ll find that this connection could boost our success in treatment rather than hinder it.

If you’re ready to seek help for addiction, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

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.

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