Editors Note: In the wake of Mac Miller's death from an apparent drug overdose, Sasha Talks Tech is partnering with Your First Step, an organization dedicated to providing resources for those who are struggling with addiction. Special thanks to Your First Step and Emily Rose for submitting this post.
By: Emily Rose, Your First Step Outreach Coordinator
We use technology in almost every aspect of our lives today. We can’t escape it, and most of us have come to embrace it. I know I couldn’t keep up with my daily schedule without my calendar app or win an argument nearly as quickly without google. Technology has even helped guide me through my addiction recovery. With nearly two years sober, I’ve utilized many technology tools to keep me focused on my journey.
Keep reading as I share some of the ways in which technology can help people in their recovery from addiction.
Finding the Right Treatment Center
When I started my journey into recovery I was very overwhelmed. I didn’t even know how to begin. I knew I needed to go to treatment, but I felt crippled by the enormity of the decisions ahead of me. With the internet at my disposal, I was able to research what type of detox I needed and which treatment center would be best for my situation. With all the information and resources at my fingertips, I was able to take my first step out of addiction and into recovery.
I have been blessed to be able to travel around the country, sometimes for business and sometimes for pleasure. Wherever I go, I am immediately able to find nearby 12 step meetings and other sober people simply by searching on Google.
Recently, I was in San Francisco for a funeral. Emotionally exhausted I found myself needing a meeting. I had to deal with life on life’s terms, which means that when life shows up in sobriety I don’t run from my feelings by drinking.
I pulled out my phone and searched “San Mateo CA AA meetings” and was immediately directed to the AA website. As I sifted through this online meeting directory I was surprised how many options I had and I felt grateful to have this wonderful resource. The meeting I went to that night definitely helped me get through the rest of my visit in San Francisco.
No matter where I travel, technology allows me to quickly connect to the sober support I need.
Technology has taken 12-step meetings and support groups even a step further in recent years with tools like InTheRooms.com. InTheRooms (ITR) is an online social network, made up of more than 400,000 people, for the global recovery community. People recovering from addiction can connect through online discussion forums or video meetings from anywhere in the world.
No matter what your addiction is, ITR has a meeting for you.
There are countless apps that help me on my journey through recovery. Many of these apps incorporate daily check ins, journaling and reminders to call your sponsor.
My Spiritual Toolkit (MST) is an app I use almost every day. It has tools to help me take nightly inventory, prayers and readings to help me through the day.
It also has a sobriety counter, reminding me daily just how far I’ve come.
Probably the most cutting-edge technology available to assist in addiction recovery is virtual reality training. Psychologists and drug counselors are beginning to see a wide range of uses for VR headsets.
One major way the devices are being used is for “cognitive reprogramming,” a method used to purge unwanted behaviors or ways of thinking. Through virtual role-playing, you can experience scenarios where you’re being offered drugs or alcohol.
No longer is it just a game of “play pretend” where you imagine your 60-year-old therapist is a friend at a college party offering you a beer.
With VR you can immerse yourself in a world of debauchery without jeopardizing your sobriety, and practice avoiding triggers and turning down drugs and alcohol. With most of the benefits of VR headsets still unknown, the surface has just been scratched in regard to how they can be implemented into addiction therapy.
I hope some of these technology tools can help you trudge the road to your happy destiny. Best wishes to you all on your journeys!!!
About the Guest Blogger:
Emily Rose is an Outreach Specialist for Your First Step, a useful resource for those struggling with addiction and substance abuse related disorders. As a recovering alcoholic herself, she is very passionate about advocating long-term sobriety.
Connect with Emily and Your First Step on Facebook.
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