Google, Facebook, Twitter Join Forces Promoting Addiction Recovery
Google, Facebook and Twitter have partnered with the nonprofit Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) to launch Tech Together, an online platform to offer support to individuals with substance use disorders. The site is a collection of resources to help those experiencing substance use disorder or battling addiction and the associated stigma.
Many of these people have lost their 12-step meetings and other in-person resources during coronavirus physical distancing practices.
Given that Alcoholics Anonymous alone has over 66,345 groups in the U.S., totaling more than 1,361,800 members, the closure of most groups will leave large numbers of people in recovery looking for resources. Prior to Covid-19, a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, showed 2.5 million U.S. adults already using online technology to aid in their recovery, and report that interventions incorporating online technologies led to further recovery success.
Online resources are urgently needed
According to an Earnest Research study published in The New York Times, alcohol sales are up 25% nationally. Meanwhile, officials in Florida, Ohio and New York have all reported upticks in overdose emergency calls and overdose deaths since March.
Shelter-in-place orders across the country have the side effect of creating isolation, loneliness and lack of community – conditions ripe for substance abuse, according to experts.
We know Americans are consuming more alcohol alone,” said Marjorie Clifton, executive director of CSIP.
Additional stress and a lack of support community is disastrous for people in recovery.”
By partnering with Facebook, Google and Twitter for Tech Together, the nonprofit CSIP is now part of a group that provides a single online destination for those suffering from addiction.
Tech Together is the one-stop location for families or individuals looking for support or resources they need at any stage of substance use disorder.
The online resource hub is a partnership of numerous national non-profits who are involved in recovery efforts. Tech Together also includes a collection of technology tools and resources provided by Twitter, Google and Facebook – to help share information and put tools and communities in front of people looking for support.
There are screening tools by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as part of the National Institutes of Health and health treatment locator tools by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,” Ms Clifton said.
The Twitter community has also partnered with Unity Recovery, WEconnect Health, Alano Club of Portland and SOS Recovery Association to provide community support and recovery meetings.”
Each company makes its unique contribution to Tech Together.
- Twitter offers such hashtags as #RecoveryMovement, #OpenRecovery, and #RecoveryWorks, so those suffering from addiction can join discussions with others in similar straits.
- Facebook offers crisis support over its Messenger tool and through Facebook Live sessions. It also hosts Facebook Groups for those with substance use disorder.
- Tech Together is using Google’s relationships with such nonprofits as Transforming Youth Recovery, Young People in Recovery – a member organization of Movendi International, and the Center on Addiction, to aggregate recovery meeting locations, thereby providing clear pathways to treatment.