Social Media’s Role in Addiction
The world has truly evolved in the last 20 years. That applies to lots of things, including drug and alcohol addiction and social media. With addiction as rampant as it is, social media serves as a platform to exchange and buy drugs, advertise drug and alcohol-fueled exploits, and even to ask for help for substance abuse. The interconnectedness of today’s world is a double-edged sword, and it is all up to the user to use it as they wish.
Meet Social Media, Your Newest Drug Dealer
Back in the 90s, a drug dealer's main form of communication was his beeper. He (or she) would get paged when a client was in need, and a series of codes based off of the numbers 1-9 would explain what was needed. Sooner or later, an exchange for drugs and money would be complete. Still, it was a process and required multiple steps to get the job done.
Today, we are hyperconnected thanks to platforms like Facebook. It's as easy to find a neighborhood drug dealer as it is to Google a local pizza place. Exchanges are regularly made by private messages and posts. To make things even easier, you can easily determine each other’s locations by turning on your smart phone’s GPS tracker.
For every drug addict who used to have their go-to drug dealer, they now have access to five or more. Exchanging messages is instantaneous, so if drug dealer A is not in the neighborhood, he can pass the customer’s info right to drug dealer B who is down the street. Within five minutes a drug deal can be set up, and the accessibility is limitless.
Forget Polaroids. Social Media Shakes Up Your Most Embarrassing Moments, Live
It used to be polaroids, then it was regular cameras. The world graduated to digital cameras, and now we have camera phones that allow us to instantly upload photos and videos to our favorite social media platforms, as the moment is happening. Today accessibility comes at a great cost. People can experience a plethora of embarrassing moments that are forever findable on the internet.
Embarrassment is the price you pay for posting photos or quotes that depict you as high or drunk. Embarrassment in front of your followers, and potentially a million of other people as well. You might think a post or picture seems totally fine while you are intoxicated but will likely make you cringe once you are sober. Worse yet, an acquaintance can post something of you that is horrifying and you just have to hope they're nice enough to take it down.
Second, a bad post can get you fired. Most businesses don’t tolerate behavior like doing illegal drugs and getting black-out drunk. They certainly won’t tolerate or accept their employees boasting those kinds of behaviors on social media. Many people have been fired because of social media and plenty of people will be in the future. Many companies even research a job candidate on social media before they put out an offer. If you want to keep doors open and keep a clean image, be cautious about social media. It’s important to be wary of your actions because you never know who is snapping photos of you and happily posting them.
Social Media Can Be a Cry For Help
It is pretty easily to identify who is high or drunk on social media vs. who isn’t. Random posts, wasted photos, and incorrect spelling can all be indicators that something isn’t right. Parents, friends, and loved ones can definitely use this as a resource to see what someone they love is up to, and it is important to speak up if you think someone has a problem.
There have been quite a few instances of people asking for help online as well, through forums, groups, or even on their personal pages. It's not easy an easy thing to do, but it's important. Recently, a mother of two spoke out about her addiction on facebook and the fact that she couldn’t get into a treatment center. No one seemed to notice, and she died of a heroin overdose two weeks later. Maybe if someone had reacted to her cry for help, she wouldn’t have met her demise.
Social Media’s Role in Addiction
There is no doubt that social media has changed the game of drug dealing and facing addiction. What was once a secret is now in the open for everyone to see. If you are a concerned loved one of someone who may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, talk to them about what you see on their page. Tell them about your concern and the image they are portraying. It can be incredibly detrimental to entire families and communities.
Never take it lightly when someone asks for help, whether it is on social media or in-person. An addict asking for help means that they are at an extremely low place, and there are only two ways out from there - treatment or death. Reach out and help them get into treatment as soon as possible, before it is too late.
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