The Use of Technology In Advancing Recovery Efforts

Most of us have become familiar with the concept of modern technology as a “double-edged sword”. Although we find many wonderful benefits in possessing a smart phone, tablet, computers of various forms, or gaming devices, we also have come to recognize there are drawbacks, limitations, and even concerns of various forms of “addiction” lurking in the shadows for those who may find themselves “over-indulging”.

However, for every technological “Yin” we also find an equally present “Yang” – to include various positive aspects of harnessing today’s technology. Given our acceptance that there are always certain drawbacks to be found, let us instead focus on a couple of aspects of this technology that can bear great value in advancing recovery efforts.

Many if not most of us have experienced the long-standing value and success in the development of websites – this has become old news! A number more of us have designed and redesigned Facebook pages to promote our recovery efforts. How about Twitter accounts? This means of communication has grown in use and popularity over the last few years, and we see it being used in various venues today – all the way up to White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy promoting national recovery-related events.
How about YouTube Channels? YouTube offers another fabulous means of providing visual and auditory communication in highly engaging forms to youth and that of all ages. Not only can we easily and inexpensively create our own videos, but we also have access to thousands of recovery-related video material at our disposal via the Internet.
Another low-cost mechanism for getting the message of recovery out across the globe is through the development of “smart phone” applications. Creating an “app” is not as difficult, time-consuming, or costly as one might imagine. In fact, I found that with just a little “on-line” research, there are app-building programs that are low cost, very user-friendly, and even fun to build. An app-building program allows us to design a recovery message that is tailored specifically to our intended audience.
Whether creating an app for a “one-time-only” event, or for statewide, national, or even global dissemination of information, the combination of “smart phone” and internet access puts the world at our fingertips and gives us one more tool by which to “carry the message” of recovery.

This blog post was provided by John Winslow, Program Director, Dorchester Recovery Initiative, a Charter Member of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO).