Researchers have known for years that social media glorifies the use of drugs and alcohol. For example, teens active on social media sites are more likely to use drugs, drink, and smoke than teens who aren’t. Social media makes drug abuse look and sound enticing, even exotic. Unfortunately, many of those tuning in are among the most vulnerable. What’s the link between social media and addiction? And why does one seem to feed the other? It is important to understand the link when looking for addiction treatment programs.
How Social Media Makes Addiction Seem Attractive
From moms drinking wine to get through a hectic day to dads gathered around a bar, nursing beers and watching the game, social media makes drinking alcohol, smoking, and using drugs seem commonplace. Generally, if you spend a day on sites such as Facebook or Instagram, you’re bound to see countless images such as these transformed into humorous memes. And posts by friends and family members make it appear that relaxation is impossible without a bucket of ice-cold beers or a bottle of wine with dinner.
While posts like these may be harmless to many viewers, to others, they’re triggers that make old cravings return. Additionally, these posts normalize addiction, making it seem like it’s fine to get drunk or high regularly.
Celebrities, Social Media, and Addiction
Possibly the worst offenders linking social media and addiction are celebrities. Mug shots, news accounts of DUIs, and who’s who in the latest round of drug rehab make for riveting reading. But for impressionable teens or adults in recovery, these stories are more than interesting. Unfortunately, many of today’s most popular role models — reality television stars, musicians, and actors from the latest silver-screen blockbusters — suffer from substance use disorder. Consequently, when the media glorifies destructive behavior such as drunk and disorderly, driving while intoxicated, or domestic abuse, it makes the behavior seem that much more normal. Drug charges among celebrities seem commonplace and acceptable when in reality, substance use disorder is as far removed from normal as anything can be.
Roles of Social Media and Addiction in Promoting Relapse
Clients in recovery from substance use disorder usually benefit from avoiding social media during their transition from treatment back to daily life. Social media may promote relapse by acting as a trigger that makes someone in recovery crave drugs or alcohol. In addition, images and posts by friends and family members are powerful and may start clients down the road to relapse in several ways, including:
- Serving up constant reminders of life before recovery
- Issuing invitations to party
- Belittling recovery
- Causing unnecessary stress
- Being the source of negative peer pressure
- Triggering feelings of isolation or sadness
When it looks like everyone around you is drinking and using drugs, it’s difficult to admit that you can’t. It’s also difficult to keep your resolve not to use when others overlook or minimize your achievements. Invitations from people you used to know and shouldn’t be around in recovery are stressful to navigate as well. As a result, social media and addiction make a dangerous combination.
Help for Substance Abuse at Atlantic Recovery Center
If you’re fighting to remain drug-free in a world ruled by social media, you can find help at Atlantic Recovery Center in South Florida. We offer multiple programs for fighting substance abuse, including preventing relapse. Therefore, if you need help, reach out today.
Clients in recovery at Atlantic Recovery Center find a cozy, home-like environment. Our clients are family, and their recovery is just as important to us as it is to them. We’re invested, and we offer a level of behavioral healthcare that’s hard to find elsewhere. Don’t let the link between social media and addiction be the wrench in the works of your recovery. Call Atlantic Recovery Center today at (855) 875-0664 for help.