Local Facebook Page Encourages Recovering Addicts To Share Their Stories With Public

By Victoria Kim 11/17/15

Residents of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania now have an outlet to be more open about their struggles with addiction.

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Is the importance of anonymity becoming obsolete, or is it just another avenue for people in recovery? Whatever the answer is, it’s clear that social media is changing the recovery landscape.

For residents in Schuylkill County, Penn., Facebook is one outlet. Recovering heroin addict, 34-year-old Travis Snyder, created “The Skook Recovers” Facebook page ("Skook" being a nickname for people from Schuylkill County) which provides a space for locals to share and to encourage one another.

“Really the idea started as part of my recovery and realizing the importance of sharing our stories with the public,” Snyder told the Republican-Herald.

Snyder, who has been in recovery since 2011, liked the idea of bringing addicts’ stories to light, spurred on by the goal of fighting the stigma of addiction.

“The goal is to offer that new perspective to educate people, bring awareness to what the disease is and to also create more compassion within our communities,” said Snyder. “We believe that by sharing our experience, strength and hope, we will be able to improve the overall social consciousness in our area.”

A public forum for addicts is “something our country has been lacking for a very long time,” said Snyder. Anonymity has worked for many people for a long time, of course, but Snyder is more attracted to the idea of being open about one’s struggle. “All these groups are anonymous, which means it is not something that the public sees,” he said. “How are people going to understand addiction if they don’t share with the public?”

The Skook Recovers Facebook page and website feature interviews with recovering addicts, accompanied by a photo. Facebook followers are encouraged to show them love, and they do, filling the comments sections with words of encouragement.

“When you have strangers, people that don’t even know you, encouraging you, that has a profound effect on our lives,” said Snyder. “For someone that is struggling and to have a stranger say, ‘You can do this,’ it can change a life.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr