Social Media and internet connection are a topic of wide debate when it comes to how much access members should have while they are in treatment. Some treatment programs feel that the disconnect is too overwhelming, granting members access to their phones or digital devices all day. Other treatment centers feel that the use of internet and social media should be a privilege, allowing access only certain times of the day. A lesser percentage believes that social media and internet connection is a non-necessity when time should be spent focusing on recovery, allowing no connection or personal devices ongoing.
What is the concern?
Connecting to social media during treatment for drug and alcohol addiction can be triggering. To be triggered means to be disrupted in a way that could inspire the brain to create sensations of craving.
Why is social media triggering?
Social Media can be triggering during treatment for recovery from addiction or alcoholism, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders, in a number of ways.
- FOMO. The Fear of Missing Out is not a diagnosable disorder, but for those who experience it, it can feel like a complete mental disruption. What is seen on the newsfeeds of social media platforms or in the headlines of popular websites can instill a feeling of longing. While being in treatment, it can feel like the whole world is happening outside while one is just “stuck” in “rehab”.
- Old Friendships. Most often, when one person goes to treatment for their substance use disorder, their other friends are not. The party still continues. Looking at pictures of drinking, recreational drug use, and activities can trigger cravings in the brain.
- Drug Dealers. Social media platforms almost all have a messaging platform within them. Being connected to social media means being available for messages and conversations. A large percentage of drug trade is occurring online today through popular social media platforms. While fighting cravings and symptoms of withdrawal, it can be damaging to receive a message from an old drug dealer offering the latest product.
Aurora Recovery Centre is located in a private, remote setting on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Surrounded by trees and tranquil nature, Aurora provides a serene setting for healing of mind, body, and spirit. We provide programming for men and women seeking treatment for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health disorders. For more information on our programs, call 844-515-STOP.