200,000+ Follow Addiction Social Media Sites, But Parents Could Use Better Direction

Twitter is the latest social media vehicle to address substance abuse, recently promoting the Addiction Resource Center, an online platform that helps connect people with substance use disorders to local resources. The site gets your attention. It confronts visitors with a question prompt, asking what concerns you—your own substance use or a loved ones. The online resource describes what a substance use disorder is and uses a convenient list of “Addiction A-Z” topics to help you better understand addiction and resources. Using social media to help people better understand and treat addiction issues is rising. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse has a Facebook page with approximately 87,000 people who follow it. DrugAbuse.com has a Facebook page with approximately 132,000 followers. Maryland Behaviorial Health has a Twitter page with 1,900 followers in an effort to oversee Maryland’s Mental health and substance use disorder services and help those who suffer find help. Back in 2014, the National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded $11 million from its Collaborative Research on Addiction consortium to “advance the scientific understanding, prevention, and treatment of substance use and addiction.” For families in an addiction crisis, these sites can help but also ‘be overwhelming’ according to Todd Ransell, whose 16-year-old’s drug abuse continues to reoccur. ‘The education has helped, the support groups, just knowing we’re not alone – but they are almost filled with too much information,’ Ransell said. ‘It would have helped to know which programs work or how they differ in their approach when Nick was first hospitalized. His first treatment program was with 40 and 50 year olds who’d been addicts for many years.’


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