Tag Archives: Social Media

Tag Archives: Social Media

Does social media and sobriety influence each other?

Research estimates suggest that worldwide, there are around 2.34 billion social media users – and that number is expected to increase to 2.95 billion in the year 2020. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, you name it – there are more apps than a person can count, and they all have a place in various aspects of living. Social media used to be simply for connecting with long-lost friends, but it’s become a staple component of daily life – to give updates, to network, to propel movements and to help people. The addiction recovery realm has seen a surge of social media applications specifically for this – to connect with other people in recovery, to seek advice for issues pertaining to sobriety or addiction, to find meet-up groups and others. At this day in age, the question still remains: Is social media helping or harming? And, more, specifically, is it helping or harming those who are pursuing sobriety?

Social Media and Mental Well-being

According to a 2018 publication titled, “Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-being Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S.”, social media is having some pretty negative effects when it comes to mental health:

  • It’s leading teens and youth to feel “less than” compared to their peers
  • It’s hurting those who are victimized or receive a continuous stream of negative comments
  • It’s contributing to the rise of depression and anxiety
  • And more

Of course, the experience individuals have with social media could be due to a number of things – how often they’re on social media, which platforms they use, how they utilize these platforms and more. For others, social media serves a number of potential benefits when it comes to mental well-being:

  • Individuals can use social media to connect with others who are struggling with certain health problems
  • Social media can provide information to those looking for health-related news and self-help tools
  • Creative expression through social media platforms can be therapeutic for some users
  • And more

How does all of this fit into addiction recovery? Mental well-being is critical for individuals pursuing sobriety, and while outpatient treatment is incredibly successful in providing support, tools and resources to helping a person maintain and achieve their recovery goals, a person does return home to their “normal” life at the end of the day – and the way they use social media could either help or hinder their progress in recovery.

It’s All About the Way You Apply It

A study conducted by researchers from California found that those in addiction recovery tend to be more honest about their experiences through social media support services rather than face-to-face. Positive reactions on social media were found to build up online support as well, which can certainly have positive implications for someone in recovery. A 2017 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that advice and support and the two most common motivating factors for those in addiction recovery using social media – and if you find that it does provide an added level of security to your sobriety journey while you work in your outpatient treatment program, you should certainly maximize on the benefits of this.

In 2017, Beau Mann explained his story to Business News Daily of using social media to his advantage in addiction recovery. He explained,

“I was 24 years old, and I was ready to break free from my addiction. I entered a 12-Step program, became part of a supportive community, and began my journey towards recovery.”

He explained that while in recovery, he experienced loneliness – and this loneliness led him to create a recovery support network online that brought people together. In 2015, he launched Sober Grid, where his business has now helped over 80,000 people connect with others in a community dedicated to sobriety. For him, social media was only a stepping stone towards creating a platform that would change the recovery world for the better. He stated,

“As I know from experience, becoming and remaining sober is anything but easy. Without support networks in place, it almost feels impossible. That’s why I’m so incredibly proud to have built a platform that connects individuals with a community dedicated to recovering from addiction.”

Apps to Support Your Sobriety Journey

In addition to Sober Grid, there are many other apps that you can utilize to help boost your motivation in sobriety:

  • Twenty-Four Hours a Day – a meditative app with daily prayers and teachings
  • 12 Steps AA Companion – you get the Big Book of AA right at your fingertips, along with prayers, promises and a sobriety calculator
  • I Am Sober – it notifies you of new milestones you’ve reached in recovery
  • Happify – this app includes over 30 audio recordings that will guide you towards positive thoughts

If you’re ready to become more independent in your recovery while also maintaining a strong supportive foundation in therapy, group activities and more, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights at Crossville Treatment.

Cumberland Heights in Crossville Tennessee is a 12-Step based outpatient alcohol and 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. If you’re ready to seek help today, call us at 931-250-5200.

How Jodie Sweetin went through recovery and discusses her sobriety on social media

Sometimes the movies and television shows we grew up watching can have a lasting impact on us, but we don’t realize until we’re older that those behind the screen have just as many challenges as those off screen. Media can depict such beautiful images of what family and love means, of what happiness is truly all about – but behind the scenes, everyone is truly going through something. ‘Full House’ star Jodi Sweetin (who played Stephanie Tanner) has her own struggles with addiction, and as she’s become more open throughout the years about her substance abuse issues, she’s also pushed hard in her recovery.

This past March marked Jodi Sweetin’s 8th anniversary of sobriety, and she’s shared with many sources what she’s gone through to get there. She told Weekly several years ago,

“We all have our demons. When we finally learn to let them go, we get to live and be free.”

After Jodi’s star appearance on Full House, she had difficulty transitioning back into a “normal” childhood. At 14, she started drinking – and over the next decade, she moved back and forth between ecstasy, methamphetamine and crack. According to The Fix, a website that highlights stories of addiction recovery and sobriety, Jodi had previously stated that at that period in her life, she was having difficulty finding out who she was – and she relied on drugs to help her fill the void. At age 26, Jodi sought out rehabilitation to finally push past her addictions.

This past year, Jodi has been honored at the 10th Annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards, which recognizes individuals who have shared their experiences with addiction and have worked hard towards recovery. Amidst her search for herself and her sobriety, Jodi has rediscovered her first passion – acting – and rejoined the cast of Fuller House in 2016. As a woman who has gone through so many challenging events in her life, she’s truly overcoming these obstacles and pushing stronger than ever towards a life of ultimate happiness and health.

Cumberland Heights in Crossville Tennessee is a 12-Step based outpatient alcohol and 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. If you’re ready to seek help today, call us at 931-250-5200.

How social media influences sobrietySocial media is a normal part of daily life for many in the United States; platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have direct connections to millions of users each year, and for a variety of reasons. For some, social media is merely a tool to keep in contact with distant relatives and traveling friends; for others, these platforms are information hubs filled with inspiration, storytelling, new-related events and more. One of the drivers of motivation for those in addiction recovery is to lead a seemingly “normal” life – to go about their day, to pay bills and, oftentimes, to do everything that their addiction prevented them from doing. How does social media fit into this?

Ways It’s Helping

Social media is just that – it’s social. Previous studies have shown that we need sociability in our lives, because as humans, we’re social beings. The support that we garner from others is what can propel us to follow through with our goals and long-term aspirations; for some, it’s even inspiration to start their own recovery support networks.

1. It’s Sparking New Ways to Connect

In 2017, Business News Daily covered the story of a young man – Beau Mann – who struggled with addiction at the age of 24. After taking part in a 12-Step program, he felt inspired. He wanted to create an online platform where those in recovery could connect with others living the sober lifestyle. In 2015, he launched an app called “Sober Grid” and, since then, the app has helped over 80,000 people connect to a sober community. What’s even better – the app now features a “Burning Desire” feature where app users who are cravings substances or being triggered can receive immediate support online, no matter where they are.

2. It’s Raising Awareness

With social media, access to information about our closest friends – all the way to their distant family – is nearly right at the edge of our fingertips. With easy access to stories and information, social media platforms are changing the way we talk about key issues in society today – such as addiction and recovery. In 2017, Adweek mentioned the fact that some photos uploaded onto social media have created major waves in communities, as they’ve shown people the reality of addiction.

3. It’s Allowing People to Support Those in Their Community</9>

A few years ago, The Atlantic highlighted the significance that social media has been playing in showing people support for sobriety. One person stated in an interview,

“You’ve seen that person down at their worst, and then [when] you see them looking happy, it’s like, ‘I can do this too’. It’s like support groups, kind of, to see that everyone is touched by it.”

Along with the benefits of social media, however, there are some ways that it’s hindering sobriety, too.

Ways It’s Hindering

There’s always an upside and downside to entities like social media, and there’s always factors that those in recovery should watch out for while scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. Let’s take a look at some of the negatives:

1. It’s Perpetuating Social Media Addiction

In 2014, Forbes Magazine highlighted the fact that not only are we social beings, but we tend to have this inherent need for validation from others. For those who are in recovery and trying to maintain a sober lifestyle, time spent on social media could seem harmless – but it could be sparking a new addiction: an addiction to technology. In addition to sociability and validation, we tend to fear that we’re missing out on something much larger than ourselves – and that could keep us coming back for more. According to The Fix, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, once stated that Facebook should be regulated “exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry.”

2. Partying May Be Glamorized

There’s a high possibility that at some point on social media, we’ll run into images of our high school friends or current family members drinking. Our society likes to embrace drinking as a way of celebration – but for those in recovery, celebrating in that way would be a recipe for disaster. Those who are in the early stages of their recovery may become easily triggered by these posts, which is why it’s important to approach social media very cautiously (and preferably avoid it altogether at the beginning of recovery).

3. Certain Movements Don’t Make It Any Easier

As our society tends to normalize drinking culture, those in recovery may see a slew of memes pertaining to drinking wine and using other substances. In 2018, a woman who previously struggled with alcoholism talked about the dangerousness of “Wine Mom” culture and how it can lead moms to think that in order to get through the day of being a parent, they need to drink. She explained that she was 100% on board with this movement:

“That is, until I got sober, and I saw it for what it is: hugely problematic, potentially offensive and dangerous for those moms who are genuinely struggling to keep it together and might not know how or where to get help.”

Overall, it sounds like there are some major benefits – as well as some major drawbacks – to the use of social media while in recovery. Only you know where you’re at in your journey – be sure to make choices that will benefit your wellbeing, not hinder it.

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 2 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.

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