How the Internet Enables Addiction

How the Internet Enables AddictionThere are many ways in which the internet can provide information that can facilitate drug abuse and addiction, including the following:

  • Substance use may be glamorized and made to seem desirable. There are many stories of celebrities who abuse drugs and alcohol, connecting the activity in many people’s minds to success and achievement. People may post pictures of themselves on social media sites partying and apparently having a good time while under the influence. They rarely post pictures of themselves while hungover or crashing.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse may be made to seem safe. It is easy to find forums where people describe their binge drinking or abuse of illicit drugs without describing negative effects. Overdose and other substance-related emergencies come without warning, and it is impossible for those reading the forums to know whether or not someone who has previously posted a glowing report of substance abuse subsequently faced a medical emergency.
  • The internet may provide information on how to obtain drugs and drug paraphernalia. There are online pharmacies, for instance, that provide a way to more easily obtain prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and other drugs of abuse. Even when people don’t order drugs through online pharmacies, the internet may help them obtain the drugs locally. A story produced for an ABC television show quoted a student who looked up the symptoms of ADHD so he could deceive a doctor and acquire a prescription for Ritalin. People may also find information online about which household products can be huffed and produce a high.
  • Individuals can find information online on how to prepare or consume drugs in different ways. This may include how to prepare a tablet for injection, or how to prepare a drug for smoking or snorting.
  • Information on ways to avoid detection and get around drug tests may be available. There are many products advertised online for the purpose.

Online and Phone-Based Recovery Resources

Although the internet can provide information that may facilitate substance abuse and addiction, it can also help people recognize signs of addiction or overdose, understand the dangers of particular substances of abuse, and learn how to access treatment and recovery options. Telephone helplines, such as the one we offer, are another good way to learn more about addiction and recovery. Our knowledgeable counselors can answer your questions. They can check your insurance coverage if desired, and can help you find a treatment program that best meets your needs. The call is toll-free, and we’re available 24 hours a day, so why not call now?