This is reblogged from the excellent the in2recovery online community and website managed by Michaela Jones, who is also one of the founder members of the Dry Umbrella Bar in Manchester.
I’ve reblogged it because I think it says great things about the use of technology to support recovery online and reaching hard to reach groups such as the homeless population.
Guest Blog, Dr Caral Brown: Technology and Recovery within the Homeless Population
After completing a research project that used an online recovery programme and spending copious amounts of my own time on line using my various social networks I do sometimes wonder how I would cope without constant access to the internet.
After I attended some conferences on technology in recovery and asked the audience about their own use of technology and social media I wondered how those who did not use it coped with their lack of connection.
Especially after my research revealed that many vulnerable homeless drug users use the internet frequently and are part of different social networks. Aside from that many more use technology in various ways and indeed on a regular, often more than daily basis.
But of course they do, they aren’t terribly different from any of us without an addiction.
Importantly though there are many who need a little helping hand to get online/ involved in technology.
At these conferences I have learned that there are many more recovery communities, groups and software available on the internet than I previously thought.
There are also many service providers who are keen to enable service users and help them get involved but just don’t know how or feel a bit too constrained or busy.
My advice here is to just do it, grab a computer and explore, encourage someone to get online or take that step and do it yourself. Once that first door is opened, it’s likely many more will follow.
Building connections is important and there are lots of supportive connections online. Using technology in recovery is clearly a way forward, for all addictions.
Some key messages are that first, there needs to be good quality access to computers and the internet. Second, dealing with sensitive issues can be incredibly difficult and so privacy is important and third, for those who are not software engineers, a little help and advice along the way might mean the difference between giving up and sticking with it.
Dr Caral Brown – Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University