The internet has had many positive effects on the way everyone lives their life, however, there are also many darker aspects inherent on the internet and one of them is its impact on the number of individuals who suffer from drug addiction and subsequently have to enter a drug rehab facility or program.
Now, you might read that and question why the internet with its amazing ability to entertain, educate, and connect people on opposite sides of the world could have any link to drug addiction. It is a fair question, and in this post, we are going to explain exactly why it is the case that the internet and digital access to it affect drug addiction.
For clarity, we are not suggesting that the internet is responsible for all drug-taking and the drug trade per se. Both of these existed long before electricity was even in widespread use, and most certainly long established by the time the internet came along. However, what the internet has contributed is easier access to drugs, has allowed black market pharmacists to trade online, and be the means for drug addicts to secretly communicate with drug dealers. For example:
Online Drug Trade
This starkest example is most certainly the online drugs trade. The internet now makes it easier to purchase drugs than at any time in human history. No more do you have to go to secluded and often dangerous back streets to buy drugs. Now you can do it using a mouse and keyboard sitting at home. What compounds this problem is that there is no properly coordinated regulation nor policing of this trade and so it continues almost unabated.
Given that drug use is most prevalent in those under 25, and that is also the age group most likely to use social media, that combination makes social media a huge influencer in drug-taking. Not that we are suggesting Twitter, Facebook or Instagram promote drugs, but rather many of the conversations, glamorisation and even peer pressure within certain groups on social media make it a factor in drug addiction.
The internet makes it more difficult for those trying to rid themselves of drug addiction to doing so. It means that not only are drug addicts fighting to reach where their need for drugs does not exist but as they do so they are often given stark reminders which do not help their recovery. Across the internet, there will be numerous web pages, social media posts, images, videos, and even mainstream movies which make positive, rather than negative, references to drug-taking.
Despite the above, it would be unfair to categorise the internet as having an entirely negative influence and as only ever encouraging drug-taking and addiction. On the flip side, there are places online that have the opposite influence. For a start, there are numerous online groups and websites whose purpose is to support and help those with drug addiction, and yes, many can be found on social media.
Further, there is software that has many uses related to drug rehab including online assessments. Also, given the huge increase in mobile device use, downloadable apps mean advice and support are often only a couple of keypad presses away. These can provide tools to count clean days, offer encouragement, and access to drug rehab counsellors, all adding to the quest of ending drug addiction in an individual.