Can Social Media Help You Stay Sober?
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Can Social Media Help You Stay Sober?


recoveryAccording to some addiction experts, Instagram is not just for photos of your breakfast anymore. In fact, a recent study shows that people all over the country are posting about recovery, using hashtags like #sober #soberlife, #recoveringaddict, and professionals in the field of addiction think this trend of sober social media might help us “facilitate recovery at a lower cost.”

Tell Us Something We Don’t Know

No one knows the magic of social media support in recovery better than us here at AfterParty Magazine. Connecting alcoholics and addicts together is one of the fundamental principals of success in most paths towards recovery. Social media—despite all its shortcomings—can be an invaluable tool for bringing people together. For whatever reason, alcoholics and addicts tend to isolate and feel alone, which can be lethal state of mind for those working towards and maintaining sobriety. People struggling with addictions need to know there are millions of other people out there just like them.

APM is so on It

That is why, in celebration of National Recovery Month this month, we launched 30 Days of Gratitude, asking those both in and out of the recovery community to take a moment out of their day to think about what they are grateful for and post a photo of it with #APM30days on Instagram, Twitter or wherever they like to social media-lize. (Check out the photo above to see a selection of some of them.)

It’s been really fun (and dare I say, heart-warming) to see posts from people I have never met that want to celebrate recovery and gratitude on a daily basis. As someone who feels strongly about taking any remaining stigma away from addiction, of all things, it’s the collaboration of strangers on social media that has felt the most gratifying in that way.

Can I Get Some Milk with My Foot?

Even as a staunch anti-Instagramer (I only tweet my gratitude, thank you very much) I can’t deny that certain social media really can be used for good (not just evil). And according to Dr. Warren Bickel, the director of the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Virginia Tech and founder of the International Quit and Recover Registry, the anonymity provided by less personally intrusive platforms like Instagram and Twitter seem to be allowing more people to talk openly about their recovery without fear of being found out by an employer or family member (in case you were wondering why anyone would use the handle @jackandcocaine).

Will Sober Social Media Make Recovery Cheaper?

Will this lower the cost of recovery? It all depends. If we are talking about setting up Sally the meth addict with an Instagram account in hopes that she will work out her demons via hashtags then no, that is not going to happen. But could Sally get clean and then share photos of her new life with her friends and family on social media? Absolutely. There is no doubt that acknowledgement from her followers will help her feel more connected and supported in her journey. And that is priceless.

Photo courtesy of our readers!

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.