As reported by TODAY, the research study covered some 79,000 posts relating to recovery and sobriety on Instagram, categorized across nine hashtags (#sober #sobriety #soberlife #soberliving #narcoticsanonymous #12steps #recoveringaddict #wedorecover). Rounding out the top three states in terms of most recovery-related posts per capita were Utah with 144.4, California with 70.8, and Florida with 34.3.
The state with the most posts didn’t necessarily have the most people in rehab treatment. For example, data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published in 2013. Shows that Florida had more than four times as many people in rehab than Utah, and California had more than nine times the patients.
Dr. Warren Bickel, director of the Addiction Recovery Research Center at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, says the science behind studies like these is brand new. And so we are still just scratching the surface on this kind of data.
“In terms of science, we’re at the very beginning of it,” explained Dr. Bickel. He went on to say that “we can learn a lot” from studying addicts in recovery. In fact, Dr. Bickel and his research team have developed their own social network for addicts in recovery. The program was launched this September and is currently being tested with a pilot study group.
In his interview with TODAY,
Dr. Bickel said that we tend to seek others who are like ourselves. So one reason recovery might be seeing such traction on Instagram and other social networks is that the hashtag functionality provides a very simple way to find like-minded people with similar goals. In other words, if you’re looking for support in recovery, or to connect with others who are overcoming addiction, the hashtag offers an easy way to do it. These social platforms also provide a level of anonymity, a harkening to famed recovery programs, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. And of course, supporting others in their recovery journey is as simple as a “double-tap.”
If you’re looking for support for your own substance addiction, find the #soberlife and don’t do it alone. The Watershed can help. Give us a call anytime: 1-800-861-1768.Tags: instagram, soberlife, Social Media