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Is Technology Helping or Hurting Addiction Recovery?

There is no denying that society today is more connected than ever to technology. Researchers are always looking for faster, easier, more efficient ways to get things done and access information. Internet connections are available virtually everywhere and there is no shortage of devices to connect. Also, the Internet is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But is all of this access to technology, the Internet, and social media helping or hurting addiction recovery? While increasing resources, is it also taking away from valuable face-to-face interactions?

Pros of Technology

Some advancements can complement Orange County drug rehab treatment well. They offer improved access to resources and information. Those in recovery can have an easier time staying connected with others, feeling motivated, and implementing change. Some options include:

  • Recovery forums: Here clients can ask and answer questions, read about others’ struggles and accomplishments, and find people who have gone through similar situations. Because it is all virtual, there are no limits on where people live or what time of day it is. Users can gain insight from people from all walks of life and stages of recovery.
  • Blogs: Blogging can be a beneficial outlet for those in recovery to share their thoughts and feelings. They can also follow other people’s blogs and learn more about their journey. Writing can be therapeutic. There are also numerous treatment centers and organizations that blog educational, inspirational, and informational content about all different facets of addiction.
  • Apps: Apps have gained a great deal of popularity in recent years and more are being developed for the recovery community. They can help people locate support meetings, track their progress, reduce stress, set goals, and gain inspiration.
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are just a few of the social media platforms available. Through these mediums, clients can connect with one another, share their stories, build support, educate others, and much more. They can raise awareness and break down stigmas regarding addiction, treatment, and recovery.

These are just a few of the ways that technology has integrated with addiction recovery. There is also the emergence of telehealth and the ability to connect with health providers, counselors, and others virtually.

Cons of Technology

As with most things in life, there are also drawbacks to relying on technology.

  • Lack of personal interaction: Communicating digitally is not the same as talking face-to-face. There are certain features that are absent. You can’t hear the inflections in someone’s voice, see nonverbal cues, and read how they are feeling. You are limited by how you interpret text on a screen, and these interpretations may not always be accurate. Talking with someone in person can develop stronger relationships and trust.
  • Misleading information: What people read online may not always apply to their situation. Or they may read only what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. They can be very selective in the information they choose. Through support groups and counseling, there is more diversity and information is presented in a different way.
  • Negative influence: There is also the risk of being negatively influenced. While this could happen anywhere, online people can get absorbed in their research and questioning. They may compare themselves to what they see in forums or read in blogs. It can inhibit their progress if they’re filling their mind with negatives. Talking things out allows them to gain a different perspective and seek encouragement and motivation. They can work through challenges with someone looking out for their best interest.
  • Isolation: Some people may turn to online resources as a perceived easy way out. They may stop attending support group meetings or therapy because they think they can find what they need on the Internet. They like having a network of support anytime they need it. But this should not replace real-life interactions and getting out and about in society. Socialization is an important part of recovery.

Finding a Happy Medium

There are both benefits and drawbacks to using technology in addiction recovery. It is important that clients find a balance. There are many features of technology that can complement the work they are doing in recovery and provide additional support. But it is important not to rely on these resources alone and forgo traditional methods. Working with a therapist or counselor and attending a luxury rehab program can help clients more effectively integrate online resources into their treatment while still focusing on other aspects of care. A comprehensive program incorporates physical, mental, social, and emotional healing.

Technology will continue to play a growing role in society and people’s lives. There are sure to be new advancements in how it can be used for care, monitoring, recovery, communication, and more. But with these changes it is important to keep the best interests of each person in mind and what works best for their specific situation. Technology has its place in recovery, but so do traditional methods and face-to-face interactions.

Chapters Capistrano is a laptop and cell phone friendly facility that provides personalized drug and alcohol rehab treatment to clients. Clients are supported along each step of the way from detox through relapse prevention planning. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome addiction and start a new chapter in your life, contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198.