In 2018, statistics were taken that showed that a majority of Americans use Facebook and YouTube, as well as many other social media platforms that are popular to us today. Social media has been growing in popularity for several years and will continue to grow, with many other types of social media emerging every week. Research shows that 68% of Americans are now Facebook users and many more are making accounts every year. Social media in itself is a phenomenon that many call ‘addicting’ as we increase our screen time to look at funny pictures and share tidbits about our days. But how does social media actually contribute to relapse in those who are recovering from addiction?
Research has also pointed toward the fact that social media might trigger relapse in certain situations. In fact, in 2012, the American Psychiatric Association conducted research that showed that 90% of the youth receiving treatment for addiction reported using social media websites like Instagram and Facebook. They also said that “drug cues” are frequently posted on these websites, which prompted them to want to use drugs as well.
Today we ask, “Why is social media a lead contributor to those recovering suffering from relapse? We will talk about the many ways that this might occur.
Why Social Media Sometimes Leads to Relapse
Social Media Carries Addictions: Yes, drugs and alcohol will always be more addicting than social media. However, social media can also be addicting in its own ways because it shares many behavioral aspects with addiction involving drugs. You might be prone to using social media in an obsessive manner, which takes you away from social relationships you may have made in your life, which can cause some of the drastic effects that you experience with drug addiction.
Comparing Ourselves: We compare ourselves with others and their success all the time. If you have just gotten out of addiction treatment, you might find that your self-esteem is still low and you are working to repair your confidence and relationships. You might see what others have accomplished and it might make you feel down about your treatment, which is why social media might have a negative impact on you during recovery.
The Glamorization of Drugs: If you are going through recovery, you’re likely to avoid bars and people who bring you down who are constantly talking about using. So why then subject yourself to an area of the Internet where drugs and alcohol are often glamorized? Seeing individuals posting about their latest “bar run” or seeing photos of people using drugs recreationally might take you back to a difficult time or trigger a relapse. You will eventually come across something like this, which is why it is important to know how to deal with the emotions it might bring you.
Destructive Recovery Information: There is good information online, this is true. However, misinformation can be destructive when you come across it. Perhaps you found information about how to go through drug detox at home or ways to conquer drug addiction in a homeopathic way without help from a professional. This is not information that you want to listen to, as you could find yourself in a dangerous scenario if you try it alone.
Destroying Relationships: If you have been through drug addiction, you might want to do whatever it takes to repair your relationships. However, handling these matters over social media isn’t the appropriate place to do it and might not bring the same results. If you are communicating with others solely over social media, prepare yourself for results you were not hoping for, as everything has a layer over it when it comes to social media, a life built solely on the Internet.
Seeking the Help You Deserve
At the Broadway Treatment Center, our experienced treatment center professionals are well-equipped to help you overcome the disasters of addiction to alcohol or drugs and help you get on a straight path in your personal life. From various detox methods to residential treatment that you can rely on, you will find peace in your life once again as you rebuild everything you once knew and take steps to gain your life back once again. Our experienced professionals would like to speak with you so that you can become healthy and happy once more. Contact us for more information at (714) 443-8218.