With its increasing availability in today’s modern world, the internet has greatly expanded how individuals in recovery receive ongoing treatment for their addictive disorders. As a means of communication, the internet has granted individuals of disparate backgrounds the chance to connect and converse over shared topics of interest. However, connecting and sharing about more pertinent issues like that of addiction recovery has also been a provoking topic of interest shared across the world wide web. It was quickly adopted as another tool for the treatment of addictive behavioral disorders by recovery patients since the early days of the internet’s inception.
Dating back to the 1990s, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members understood the community-based advantages of the internet. They began to utilize rudimentary email chains as a tool for recovery and continuous treatment for addictive behavioral disorders. These early instances of virtual treatment options via email still exist today. The field of virtual addiction recovery has expanded its reach into online forums and streaming services such as Skype or Zoom for recovery meetings.
Zoom and Skype are two different teleconferencing tools that perform similar functions in allowing participants to view and hear fellow participants on a call or meeting in real-time. Forums, on the other hand, are closer to the email chains of old in function. They provide a safe, online space to chat with other participants through a text-like messaging system. Forum participants can either bring up topics to discuss with other members or even ask others for assistance. Both the forums and virtual meetings are moderated to avoid dissenters and potential trouble makers, keeping online spaces safe by ensuring conversations remain conducive to the discussed topic and each individual’s recovery process.
For individuals who may feel tentative or shy about seeking online help, the online forums may be the best option to dip their toes in the virtual recovery world. All the big recovery organizations have an online platform — AA and Smart Recovery and the entirely forum-based company Reddit can fill in the gaps that these organizations may miss when it comes to addiction recovery topics. You can find one of the best resources for ongoing addiction recovery assistance at the Reddit forum Stop Drinking. These free online forums can be accessed 24/7 and provide a wealth of community-based assistance.
These forums are also great entry-level forays into online addiction recovery resources as individuals do not even have to participate to gain knowledge from the community forum. Each participant’s level of involvement is purely up to them. Many will benefit from shared information by reading, while others may want to be more involved in the conversations. The most significant benefit from the online forums is that individuals can find a recovery community no matter where they live or what time of the day. The online forums are also beneficial for niche addictions or individuals in smaller communities with fewer resources regarding addiction recovery meetings in their area.
Virtual Recovery Meetings
From traditional AA-style meetings to more focused group discussions that can range from the benefits of meditation and yoga to narcotics misuse, virtual teleconferencing calls have been an incredible blessing during the ongoing pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The community-based approach to recovery has been an integral key to addiction recovery since the early inception of organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous. Many of the COVID-19-related restrictions have eliminated the possibility of in-person meetings. This would have left many addiction recovery patients in a lurch and at a higher risk of relapse. However, with virtual meetings, the possibilities are somewhat limitless for scratching that community-based addiction recovery itch. These online teleconferencing apps are beneficial as tools for connecting individuals in addiction recovery and sharing their stories.
An online meeting will still have a specific time, so they are not as universally available as the forums. However, these virtual portals increase the amount of interactive assistance that addiction recovery patients can receive without leaving their homes. When you search for a particular virtual meeting, there will be a link you click to open up the meeting website page. You will then be prompted to enter an access code to enter the meeting. For some of the planned virtual meetings, you may have to email the proctor to receive the access code, while others will just provide the access code in the listing. Once you type in the code, you will be automatically connected to the virtual meeting. Also, for anonymity’s sake, those who wish not to share their video can easily select that option and still participate.
SAMHSA Informational Sites to Top Online Forums and Virtual Recovery Meetings:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): AA is probably the most well-known addiction recovery organization, and they offer online support through both virtual meetings and an online forum. You can find out more info by clicking here.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA): NA, like its sister organization AA, offers a variety of online and skype meeting options which you can find here.
- Reddit Recovery: Reddit also offers various virtual hang out and support groups for those in addiction recovery.
- Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery: Smart Recovery offers a global community of mutual-support groups and forums that include chat rooms and message boards.
- SoberCity: SoberCity is an online support and recovery community.
- Sobergrid: Sobergrid is an online social platform similar to Facebook for anyone in addiction recovery.
Both virtual meetings and online forums can benefit ongoing addiction recovery treatment. Choice House’s dual-diagnosis treatment services can help you take full advantage of both of these virtual treatment options on your path to long-term sobriety. Located in the Boulder County, Colorado area, we give men the opportunity to learn how to achieve and maintain sobriety as they build a new foundation of love and empathy. Our variety of therapeutic modalities are designed to teach clients the preventative skills that will work alongside these virtual treatment options once they re-enter their independent sober lifestyles. Our addiction recovery treatment services include a 90-day inpatient program, an intensive outpatient service, and the chance to take up residency at our sober living campus. With the skills you learn at Choice House and additional resources like those available on the internet, you will have all the essential tools to prepare you for the challenges ahead of maintaining your sobriety in the long-term. For more information about Choice House facilities or addiction recovery treatment programs, please give us a call at (720) 577-4422.