COVID-19 In an effort to support people with substance abuse and drug addiction, Google, Facebook and Twitter launched the “Tech Together” initiative at the nonprofit Center for Safe Internet Pharmacy (CSIP).
The online platform is a collection of resources to help those experiencing substance use disorder or struggling addiction and related stigma.
During these social distances, increasing recovery support meetings and in-person recovery resources have been discontinued due to shelter-place mandates.
Prior to COVID-19, a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard University reported that 2.5 million US adults were already using online technology to help their recovery and that incorporating online technologies had led to greater recovery success.
“COVID-19 may have paused our daily lives, but unfortunately addiction and drug abuse disorders continue. Only half of Americans know someone affected by opioid abuse,” says CSIP Executive Director Marjorie Clifton.
Tech Together partner has been providing hashtags for thousands of people in Twitter to join conversations. Twitter provides real-time engagement to share recovery stories and is an online community building for people experiencing similar battles of addiction and recovery.
“Facebook is also looking at how their tools are being used to get help during this effort. Crisis on Facebook Messenger, hosting a Facebook Live Support Session or connecting through a Facebook group is coming together,” CSIP said in a statement.
Finally, Google is partnering with various nonprofit organizations to create a list of online support group options to help individuals in recovery access support groups, and virtual meeting options are listed on the site.
“We are committed to using our technology to increase public awareness of addiction and recovery, and to make it easier for people to find help in combating addiction and stigma,” Clifton said.