YouTube is a video sharing site that is one of the most popular places to go online. For many people it has replaced television as their favorite way to be entertained – there are 3 billion videos watched on here every day. It has allowed people who were completely unknown become famous overnight. A classic example of this would be the ‘Charlie bit my finger’ clip that generated 450 million views worldwide. It would not be possible to watch all the content on YouTube. There are 48 hours of video uploaded every minute.
YouTube can be of great value to people in recovery for a number of reasons including:
* One of the keys to stay sober is to make use of recovery resources. In the past many people turned to books for this, but it can be far easier to absorb information via video.
* The amount of material related to addiction recovery has skyrocketed because of YouTube. A person could watch videos related to addiction recovery 24 hours a day and never run out of things to watch.
* This video community ensures that information is available on all approaches to recovery from substance abuse. This means that the individual has more choice and is therefore more likely to find something to suit them.
* It allows people in recovery to share their views about addiction and recovery. It is easy to make videos on upload them to this site, and doing so can strengthen recovery.
* Many of these videos do far more than provide information – they are also entertainment.
* It allows people in recovery to engage with each other people no matter where they are located on the planet.
* In the past those who lived in isolated communities had few choices when it came to addiction recovery. The arrival of resources like YouTube has changed all that.
* Every aspect of addiction recovery will be covered by these videos so no matter what advice the person is looking for they should find it.
There are a number growing number of YouTube channels that can be of value to people recovering from an addiction including:
Sobriety Television currently has 147 videos focusing on addiction recovery and staying healthy in recovery. There are new videos added on a fairly regularly basis, and most of these are well made with good sound and camera work. There are many interviews with addiction experts and these are well worth checking out if people want a deeper understanding of the current theories on addiction. Sobriety Television is popular and at the moment it has 3,589 subscribers and 819,622 views of their videos.
Wired in Recovery has a mission to empower the individual to overcome their own substance abuse problems. In order to make this happen they provide interviews with those who have overcome addiction and experts in the field to offer professional advice. This channel has been around since 2008 and has 30 videos. They stopped adding new videos about 2 years ago, but they started posting again last month – hopefully this will mean some further additions. At the moment Wired in Recovery has 278 subscribers and 663,454 views of their videos.
Foundations Recovery Network not only discusses recovery from alcohol or drug addiction but also has videos about dealing with mental health issues. This can be of particularly interest to those who are dealing with a dual diagnosis – those who have a mental illness alongside their addiction. This channel has been in business since 2010 and they have 77 videos uploaded. They are currently adding videos on a fairly regular basis and have 41,442 video views and 54 subscribers.
Talk Therapy TV also produces videos about mental health problems alongside substance abuse issues. This is a nonprofit organization that produces high quality videos with the top experts in the field of mental health and addiction. They currently have 109 videos to choose form with 49,100 video views and 1,027 subscribers.
SAMHSA’s Official YouTube Channel provides content from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. This is a branch of the US Department of Health and Social Services. Their videos are high quality and contain reliable information given by experts in the field of addiction and mental health. They currently have 154 videos to choose from and they have 1,199 subscribers and 178,279 video views. This station is well worth checking out if people want evidence based information about addiction.
AA100011 is an unofficial channel for Alcoholics Anonymous. This means that the content has not been approved or endorsed by the AA World Service Committee. It is a still a great channel for those who follow the 12 steps. There are 135 videos dealing with different aspects of the 12 Step program. Probably the nicest thing on offer is an audio reading of the entire Big Book. This channel currently has 279 subscribers and 97,184 video views.
Silkworthdotnet is probably only going to be of interest to those who like Alcoholics Anonymous nostalgia. There are a modest 5 videos which provide clips of how the organization operated back in the 1940s. This channel only has 20 subscribers – not surprising really as they have no added any new videos in 4 years. These short clips have been viewed 26,952 times.
The above is just a taste of what is available on YouTube. There are hundreds of new videos relating to addiction and recovery added every week.
In order to get the most from YouTube it is advisable that people:
* Subscribe to the channels that provide the type of information that they are interested in. This way they will not miss out when new videos become available.
* It is important that people are discerning about which videos they watch. It is possible for anyone to put material on YouTube and not all of it is trustworthy or beneficial.
* People should never allow advice from a YouTube video replace that of a professional opinion. This is particularly important when it comes to physical and mental health – in order words these videos should not be used as a means to diagnose or treat illness.
* In order to get the most out of these videos it is good to leave comments. The debates in the comment section under the videos are often far more interesting than the videos themselves.
* If people plan to create their own recovery videos they should have realistic expectations – it is unlikely to make them a star overnight. It is more realistic to aim for a few subscribers who will benefit or enjoy the videos.
* There are other helpful internet resources worth checking out in recovery include online forums and recovery blogs.