The internet has proved to be an important resource for anyone who is dealing with an addition. It is easier to seek help using the anonymity provided by the web. This means that people can search for information without having to commit to anything. It also makes it those who live in isolated parts of the world to feel part of the wider recovery community. There are now a wide range of recovery resources available to people online including:
* Online recovery support group forums
* Addiction podcasts are audio files that people can download as part of a series. For example, there are some podcasts that are recordings of actual AA meetings.
* There are now likely thousands of recovery related videos available online. Many of these can be found on YouTube.
* Addiction websites provide information and usually consist of achieved articles. These sites will vary in the regularly they update their content – if they update at all.
* Online recovery meetings can be found at almost any time of the day or night.
The word blog is short for weblog. It is a type of online journaling where the writer shares their thoughts with the world. A blog differs from an addiction website in that the information tends to contain far more personal opinions and interpretations. Anybody can start up a blog and that person will not usually be claiming to offer professional advice – they are just giving their opinion on things. The posts on these sites are usually written in the first person and it is usually possible to leave comments. In that way a blog is more like a conversation than an information resource.
There are some definite benefits to following recovery blogs including:
* These posts are usually personal accounts of dealing with addiction and recovery. It is the personal nature of these blogs that give them their value as the writer will be talking from their own experience.
* It is inspirational to read how other people are managing to build a life away from addiction. These blogs can be of particular importance to those who are unsure if a life in recovery can work for them.
* These blogs can work like a community. It is not only a conversation between the blogger and the person making comments, but also between all the people making comments.
* Blogs tend to be updated regularly and this means that they can contain valuable information that has not yet become available on the main addiction websites.
* Bloggers seek out and share information that is of importance to anyone interested in the subject area.
* Most bloggers are not doing the work for financial gain so this means that their posts have more credibility.
* By following a blog the individual is staying involved with the recovery community. This should mean that they never lose track of what they’ve left behind – people can become complacent if they have been sober many years but not involved in the recovery community.
There are a number of recovery blogs that are currently quite popular including:
The Discovering Alcoholic (TDA) has been going over 5 years. It is the blog by an American called Gavin who has been sober for 16 years. He offers a unique take on addiction, and he is not afraid of a bit of controversy. He posts about things that are not found on other recovery blogs. Gavin tends to put out at least a couple of posts a week, and this means that he offers topical discussion. He encourages comments and has a good sense of humor. Although the website is called the Discovering Alcoholic it is aimed at people with all types of addiction – the philosophy on TDA is that addicts are birds of a feather.
Healing Imperfectly is maintained by a woman who recently celebrated her second year in recovery. She started the blog soon after getting sober, and her posts provide an honest look at her struggles and victories. Both those who are new to recovery and those who have been sober for many years will get something from this website.
Crying Out Loud is a more serious blog as it involves a group of bloggers adding content. All of the contributors do seem to be talking from personal experience so that makes it well worth investigating. They also accept guest posts from anyone who would like to share their own experiences. This blog is directed specifically at women who are dealing with addiction and recovery, but much of the information provided would equally apply to anyone.
The Addiction Inbox belongs to Dirk Hanson who has also written a book about addiction called The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He makes his living as a writer so his posts are highly readable and contain reliable information. This blog is a good one to follow if people want to learn more about the reasons behind addiction. He posts regularly on the latest finding in medical research as they relate to addiction recovery.
Breaking the cycles is another blog that focuses on research into addiction as well as personal experiences. There are a number of contributors to this website and the content tends to be of high quality and reliable.
The Fix is a professional looking blog that also fits into the category of online magazine. There are a team of contributors and this website is a good source for the very latest information concerning addiction recovery. It covers a vast array of topics and there are plenty of fun articles as well. There tends to be multiple posts each day so there is always something new to read when people visit this blog.
There are a few things worth considering when using recovery blogs including:
* It pays to be cautious when obtaining information from these blogs. The fact that anyone can start up a recovery blog means that the facts given are not always reliable.
* New recovery blogs get started all the time but most of these don’t last a year. Most of the blogs mentioned here have been going for a few years so they are more likely to still be around in the future.
* In order to get the most out of these blogs it is a good idea to leave comments. That way the person feels like they are part of something and not just a reader.
* There is no obligation to agree with everything the blogger says. In fact the most usual reason for why people leave a comment is that they disagree.
* It is never a good idea to take medical advice from a blog post.
* Those individuals who know how to use an RSS reader will find it easier to read blogs that way.