Technology and Why it's Changing the Face of Addiction
Over the past century the evolution of technology has touched almost every aspect of our daily
lives. Through the rise of radio, film, telecommunications and the internet we now are
connected in ways we had never thought possible. While most factions of society have been
impacted in a pretty significant manner by technological advances.
I would argue that any ostracized groups of society have felt the largest impact. For individuals
suffering from feelings of isolation and shame the internet has provided a safe haven for them
to meet other likeminded individuals. For those who suffer from substance use this is a
Godsend providing a support system with unlimited access as long as you had access to the
In the time before cell phones obtaining drugs involved you knowing someone that had access
to them or knew someone else. It involved physically forming a network of users and finding a
dealer you scored your fix from. Technology changed all of that by providing access to drugs at
any time with a couple of keystrokes and some mouse clicks. I know that internet messaging
and cell phones made it a piece of cake for me to find what I was looking for.
While technology definitely makes it convenient to get high, it also offers a vast selection of
immediate resources for people to reach for help. Virtually all detox and treatment centers
have websites with 24/7 hotlines. This allows people who have fleeting thoughts of changing
their lives to be able to contact someone immediately. I know this is what took for me.
One of the most crucial steps in achieving and maintaining sobriety is to always be able to
connect with somebody that you can relate too. For me this is a vital aspect of my recovery.
The beauty of cellphone technology is that I never have to be alone. I can always call or text
someone when being in my head gets unbearable. When I find myself in a position where I
need to tell someone what I have been thinking. In my personal experience sending a text is
the easiest way to reach out. For me calling a person is harder, usually with a text they will
return the call and I am able to open up and ask for help or just be honest about what’s going
Facebook and other social media outlets allow for the world to connect in real time in a
manner never imagined before. Recently different applications and social networks have
surfaced which allow sober individuals to connect to others in recovery. These connections are
not only local or national, they can even be international. These networks have enormous
potential to help raise the feeling of loneliness that many individuals in early recovery struggle
with. In active addiction most people have isolated themselves from the world. Part of early
recovery involves learning how to connect and interact with people again, or in a new way
entirely. While there is still a lingering negative stigma associated with recovery. Groups
around the country like Young People in Recovery, I Am Not Anonymous and many others are
actively advocating to raise awareness and remove the stigma often associated with those in
Sober Grid is a great example of an innovative app that is helping connect individuals in
sobriety. In simplistic terms it is a Facebook for recovery. Members are given a profile they can
individualize, including the feature to be private or allow others to browse through their profile.
It provides the opportunity for members to connect with one another, globally and locally. The
best feature is that unlike Facebook, the negative stigma often given to those in recovery does
not apply as all members are in sobriety.
Sober Grid provides a great opportunity to explore creating a sober support system online. One
very useful feature that the app has already incorporated is a “burning desire.” In sobriety
terms, this refers to someone experiencing an overwhelming need to use or drink. By posting a
burning desire, individuals are immediately able to reach out to thousands of people in a split
second. This is not something to just build friendships. This is an innovation that will save lives.
I feel that when looking at the Internet I am grateful, I realize that no matter where I go I have
access to technology that allows me to build a sober support system locally or online. I am
living in an age where through continued advocacy and public awareness I can have hope that
the stigma those who suffer from substance use can finally be lifted. That I may be seen as
person who has a condition that is deadly and that each day that I abstain from using is another
victory. The reality is that 1 in 10 people struggles with substance use. For those individuals
only 20% are able to achieve sobriety after attending a drug detox and treatment center. The
impact this has on society is serious and can no longer be swept under the rug. Technology has
changed the face of recovery in a powerful manner and I am so happy to be a part of this!
Rose Lockinger is 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. A single mom to two beautiful children, Rose has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.