Let’s face it — we all use a substantial amount of social media every day, whether it’s for work, checking emails, connecting with others or for entertainment. From 2005 to 2019, the percentage of adults in the U.S. who used social media increased from 5% to 79%. It’s not only the U.S. who engages in extensive social media use. From 2008 to 2018, Facebook surged from covering approximately 1.5% of the world population to around 30%.
Individuals of all ages from all over the world are using social media more. We’re all prone to its effects — whether positive or negative. So what does the rise in social media use also mean for drug and alcohol use? While social media platforms can sometimes encourage and promote sobriety, they can also glamorize drug and alcohol use. It’s crucial to know social media’s influence on drug and alcohol use, as well as how you can use platforms to your advantage.
Media Influence on Drugs and Alcohol: The Negatives
According to a 2018 publication, social media can negatively impact mental health in several ways, including:
- Social media increases the prevalence of depression and anxiety
- Cyberbullying is causing victims to adopt a more negative view of themselves and sometimes harm themselves
- Social media causes individuals to feel inadequate when comparing their lives to others’
Media Influence on Drugs and Alcohol: The Positives
Becoming and remaining sober is anything but easy. Without community, support networks or a loved one by your side, it can seem challenging to stay positive and aligned with your goals. That’s where social media can come in as a positive stimulus for change. Several social media platforms aim to connect individuals with a support group dedicated to recovering from drug or alcohol abuse.
Perhaps you are sober and want to use social media as a tool to fuel even more positivity, rather than get sucked into its downsides. Numerous apps will help increase your motivation to get or stay sober, including:
- Sober Grid: This app instantly connects you to a global sober community so you can inspire others and feel motivated.
- I Am Sober: This app keeps you on track with your goals by notifying you of new milestones along your recovery journey.
- Happify: Happify guides you toward more positive thoughts with over 30 audio recordings.
- 12 Steps A.A. Companion: Get the Big Book of A.A. right in your headphones with this app, along with a sobriety calendar, prayers and promises.
- Twenty-Four Hours a Day: With this app, you’ll have access to prayers and meditations all day long.
Find Help for Social Media and Drugs
If you struggle with substance abuse, social anxiety or other underlying issues, holistic, evidence-based treatment is available at Gateway Foundation. Our compassionate team of doctors, licensed clinical staff and psychologists are here to provide you with individualized addiction treatment that works. Contact Gateway Foundation today to learn more about our programs and services.