People With Meth Addiction Are Finding Help Online

People With Meth Addiction Are Finding Help Online

By Kelly Burch 02/20/19

"We stay connected online, and we don't judge anybody on what path they're on," says the founder of a Facebook support group for meth addiction.

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person with meth addiction reaching out to online community

Fellowship has always been an important part of recovery. Today, online communities help bring people together, including current and former drug users. 

"My online support network is huge. I know many people from all over the U.S. and also in other countries," Jameil White, who has been sober for about three years, told U.S. News and World Reports.

Today, White runs both a Facebook page and a Facebook group for people who are currently struggling or who have struggled with meth addiction. The private group, called Sobriety 101, has nearly 9,000 members who support each other in recovery.

"Some of them are members of (Alcoholics Anonymous), (Narcotics Anonymous). You also have members like myself who no longer go to meetings, but they still need that community and that network, and they reach out through online groups,” White said. 

The online groups can supplement local support systems, she added. 

"We stay connected online, and we don't judge anybody on what path they're on. Whether they're still in active addiction and they're struggling, or whether they're seeking help, we all take the time and volunteer and answer messages and talk to people. We're their friends—we allow them to call us if they need to. We go so far as trying to find them local meetings or rehab treatment centers, or anything we can to get them the help they need.”

It’s not just people in recovery who are turning to Facebook and other online platforms for support. Loved ones of people with substance use disorder are also connecting online.

Six years ago, Julie Richards started the Mothers Against Meth Alliance. She uses her Facebook page—which has more than 5,000 Likes—to educate people about the signs of meth addiction, especially among Native Americans living on North Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

"Nobody wanted to believe meth was here, but I just kept doing these walks, I kept going everywhere I can to bring this awareness, I just kept it up,” she said. “Now, people are like, 'What can we do to help you?'—whether it be gas money, or coming out on patrol with us.”

Richards’ daughter is in jail for charges related to her meth addiction. Richards tells other young people that her daughter is one of the lucky ones. 

"I tell these kids, 'There's only two roads that this meth is going to take you to: one is prison, and the other one is death. It's up to you. If you're lucky, you'll end up in prison.’”

Suzette Schoenfeld, whose son struggled with meth addiction, also runs a group for people with meth addiction and their loved ones. 

"There's a big problem with meth in this country, a big white wave," she said. "People need help, and they're not getting the help they need. A lot of people reach out for love and understanding, and we're all learning about this together. I'm hoping that we're helping each other through this."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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