The proliferation of information that has occurred in the past 20 years because of the Internet is unparalleled in the history of humanity. Information that used to take a concerted effort to discover and numerous hours of research can now be revealed from a few keystrokes on your phone.
The Internet has also brought people together in a way that has never been seen before. People who were once isolated from their neighbors for whatever reason can now make connection with people from all around the globe and because of this, the idea of community has been redefined.
One community that has changed since the advent of the Information Age is the recovery community. In 1939 when the first 12 Step program started to formalize its message, the way that recovering people communicated was through letters, phone calls, or the book Alcoholics Anonymous. People who were not near their fellow alcoholics or addicts had to rely almost solely on the book in order to recover and their ability to communicate with others within their community was often very difficult.
So we are blessed today to be able to instantly access any information that we want at any given moment of the day, and to be able to connect with other recovering people regardless of how far away they are. For many people this has been huge in helping them when they are being overwhelmed in sobriety they can instantly reach and find support. For so many people in recovery it has started to peel away the layers of isolation that are so prevalent in addiction as well as recovery. With this in mind I have put together a list of online resources for people who may be struggling with their addiction. At this point in time there is no reason to struggle alone, so whether you are currently in your active addiction and seeking help, or you are clean and sober and just going through a rough patch, the information below will hopefully help.
Some people who are struggling with their addiction may be so situated that they cannot get to a meeting, or they may be nervous about making the leap to actually going to a meeting in person. For people of either of these categories there are a number of 12 Step meetings that are offered over the Internet. You can attend these meetings by using Skype and the links below are to the meeting times and login information for both online Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Message Boards have been around since the beginning of the Internet and they are basically a forum in which people can share information, ask questions, and connect. Most message boards give you the ability to stay anonymous, so if you are struggling and want to reach out, some of the recovery message boards are good places to do this. On these sites you will find sympathetic and understanding people who can give you their experience with whatever it is you are dealing with. Some suggestions for recovery message boards are:
There are a number of certified professionals who offer online drug counseling. While it is usually recommended that something like this takes place in person, if you need to help with your addiction and can not get to a therapist or drug treatment center then this is a viable alternative. Doing a quick Google Search can give you a number of different options, but remember to vet whoever you chose and make sure they have the credentials necessary to offer their advertised services.
Blogs on addiction are similar to message boards but the difference is that they are usually just a single writer, or a collection of writers’ thoughts on different subjects that pertain to recovery and addiction. On the blogs people share their struggles and experiences and reading them can really help to bring perspective and clarity to your life. If you are struggling, then checking out an addiction blog could be a great help. Some suggestions for Addiction Blogs to check out are:
o The Fix
Speaker Tape Websites
There are a lot of websites on the Internet that have recordings from various 12 Step fellowships. Many times these recorded tapes are circuit speakers who have fantastic messages and the topics that they discuss are extremely varied. If you are struggling with your addiction and are not yet ready to go to a meeting then checking out one of the recordings online can be a good foray into recovery. It can allow you relate and come to a conclusion as to whether or not you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Also these recordings can be helpful if you are in recovery but are struggling and just need an extra boost. They can be downloaded so you can play them in your car and are a great supplement to traditional meetings. Some of the most popular websites are:
Treatment Center Websites
If you find that you are struggling with your addiction and need to take your thoughts of recovery from the digital world to the real one, then you can check out drug treatment center websites online. A good place to start your search is with your insurance company to see where you would be covered to go and then from there a simple search will yield the rest.
If you find that you are currently struggling with your addiction and do not have the ability or are not yet ready to seek out recovery within a traditional setting, then check out any of the above listed resources for help. Addiction can be a baffling and terrible disease, but given all of the technological advances we have seen, you do not need to go it alone. For any problem you are currently facing there is a feasible solution out there, so give these suggestions a try and I hope that your struggles come to an end soon.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.