The web is an incredibly useful asset for anybody interested in recovery from addiction. Just entering the keywords addiction recovery into the Google search engine produces 8,590,000 results. There are millions of free articles that provide information about recovery as well as audio and video content. One of the most useful of all these web resources is the online recovery forum.
These are some of the many benefits of joining an online recovery forum:
* These forums will usually have members from all stages of the addiction recovery process. This means that they can provide useful information and guidance. Those who have been sober for many years can offer advice to newcomers. While the newcomer can remind the long-term sober about what is waiting to them if they return to their addiction.
* Even though these forums are online it is still possible to build strong friendships. The web is unlikely to ever replace the need for face to face relationships, but it can be a useful addition to social interaction. When people first become sober they can feel incredibly lonely, and these online communities can provide some companionship.
* Helping other people can strengthen the individual’s recovery. By posting their experience and offering advice members of these forums are doing a type of service.
* Some of these forums have thousands of active members. This means that no matter what the question there is almost sure to be someone who has an answer.
* Those individuals who live in remote parts of the world or are housebound can feel cut off from the recovery community. These online communities allow such individuals to join in.
* As well as being a source for information these forums can be a place to socialize. Most of these forums have chat rooms or lounge areas where posters can discuss whatever they like.
The following is a collection of the most popular recovery forums available on the Internet.
The Sober Recovery Forum is one of the most popular sobriety communities online. It deals with both alcohol and drug problems and has a section where family members of addicts can get help and advice. As well as a discussion forum there is also a live chat room. This is a good option if people are after information quickly. There are usually a good number of people using the site at any time of the night or day. It is also possible for members to create a blog on this website.
We Quit Drinking is an open forum that is not affiliated with any one particular recovery philosophy. Members have succeeded using a variety of different methods. This is a great resource for anyone looking for treatment options. The members are supportive of each other and welcoming to newcomers. 17,086 people have joined We Quit Drinking, and 1,299 of them post regularly. There is also a section devoted to helping members stop smoking.
Cyber Recovery Forums have been online since 2008. Members of this group come from every stage of addiction recovery. Family members are also welcome. As well as alcohol and drug addiction this website also has a section devoted to eating disorders. Those who aim to develop their spirituality will find plenty to interest them on the Cyber Recovery Forums, and there is also a place for secularists.
The e-AA Group is a place for members of Alcoholics Anonymous members to gather on the web. There is an enormous volume of content that will be of use to people who want to gain more insight into the 12 Steps. There are currently 3,649 members. It is a bit quieter than some of the other recovery forums, but this can mean that posts get a more considered response.
Members of Narcotics Anonymous will find online fellowship at the NA Chatroom. As well as the forum there are also scheduled online meetings. This is a busy forum and there are currently 89,842 members. Family members can also go to NA Chatroom for information and support. One of the most useful resources on this forum is the our stories section. This includes thousands of threads where people discuss their addiction and recovery.
Netiquette refers to the etiquette that people are expected to follow when using online forums. By following these suggestions members help reduce the risk of acrimony. It is electronic politeness. These are some common rules of netiquette:
* It is not good form to post in block capitals. This is because it is the equivalent of shouting online. When somebody posts using block capitals, they will usually come across as angry and rude.
* Some members of these forums seem to like making trouble. This is called trolling. It involves posting inflammatory remarks in the hope that other people will take the bait. The purpose of a troll is usually to cause disharmony in an online forum. Some individuals do this for fun while others do it as a way to vent their inner frustrations. It is bad netiquette no matter what the reason.
* Some forum members will hijack a thread by taking it off-topic. This is rude because it means that the original poster (OP) will not get the information they requested. If people wish to talk about something else they should begin a completely new thread. It is expected that forum members keep posts relevant to the OP. Otherwise it is similar to barging into a conversation and changing the topic.
* It can be tiresome for regular members when new threads keep appearing related to the same subject matter. It is better if people do a search of previous threads before they begin a new one. This way the same information will not need to be repeated over and over again. It is a good idea for newcomers to read some of the most recent threads to see what has already been discussed.
* It is usually fine to politely attack a point of view, but it is never OK to attack the person who has provided this view. Such personal attacks are called flaming, and in most of these forums such behavior can get posters banned.
* It is not good netiquette to criticize somebody’s grammar and spelling on these recovery forums.
* New members are expected to read the terms of service before they begin posting. Different forums will have rules in regards to the expected behavior of members.
* Posting the same thing more than once is poor form because it just wastes people’s time.
* It is good netiquette for posters to respect the philosophy of each form. For example, if they are posting on an Alcoholics Anonymous forum, they should show some respect for this point of view. If the individual does not like AA, then there are plenty of alternative recovery forums. Otherwise it is akin to turning up at a party with the intention of fighting with the guests.
* It is not acceptable for people to cut and paste the words of other people and claim ownership of these words. If posters are quoting other people they are expected to acknowledge this. If they are arguing a point of view it is usually expected that they also provide a link to the original article.
* Members of these forums are expected to avoid posting anything that might be considered racist, sexist, bigoted or otherwise offensive. It is also usually expected that posters avoid swearing.