The Potential of Web 2.0 Internet Technologies in Enhancing Treatment for Alcohol/Other Drug use Problems

Addiction and the internetOver the past decade there has been proliferation of e-health applications across disease categories. With the emergence of the next generation of Internet-based applications, Web 2.0, there are increasing opportunities for integrating these technologies into treatment approaches for alcohol/other drug use problems, in a way that engages and empowers like never before. No evidence currently exists to demonstrate the benefits of Web 2.0 applications, such as social networking and social media, on alcohol/other drug use problems. However, social learning and influence theories point to the possible mechanisms of action and effectiveness. More research is urgently required to examine the potential of Web 2.0 applications on alcohol/other drug use problems.

The internet has become very useful today. All information is sought online and medical information is no exception. As is evident the social platforms that came with the digital age are not only used to chat and catch up on social issues but have become a very valid platform through which professionals seek ideas and debate on crucial issues that are very important to their careers. The internet has become unequalled hub of information where professionals seek information and share ideas. Likewise patients have also found the internet a good place to air their concern and this has been boosted by the fact that you can be anonymous and still have your problems solved by professionals who may question and answer columns on their websites or blogs. The internet has the advantage of speed, unlike looking for information in a library full of books where you have to go through table of contents of many books to find what you want you just write the keywords on the search pane on the search engines like Google, Bing or Yandex and then the information will be brought within seconds. Even with many choices to select from you can still refine your search by keying in specific keywords that will make your search more local hence very effective. Today most internet users seek health information from the internet, it is estimated that 80% of internet users in America seek health information from the internet and 59% of them are adults.

The youth form the majority of the internet users, it is estimated that 71% of these youths seek health information online. Right now apart from email and search engines use, health information searching is the most popular activity for adults. There are also many forums that are created on online communities like Facebook and twitter that people use to access health information. On these sites people of like mind come together discuss their health problems and find solutions to their problems and drug addicts are no exception. The internet is a platform for seeking information but as it stands right now drug and alcohol addicts can get computerized treatments. Research testing the efficacy of computerized psychological treatments for alcohol and drugs addiction revealed that when coupled with weekly therapist support the computer-delivered alcohol and drugs treatment can be as effective as face to face treatment. With technology based for depression, it has been found that coupled with guidance it works twice better.

The web 2.0 technology

The emergence of web 2.0 technology may find the best solution that incorporates all the convenience and efficacy to the internet based treatment delivery while providing a platform for the development and maintenance of social connectedness and support which is key in achieving effectiveness in online computer-delivered treatments. However as stated earlier there is still little research reports that have been published on the subject of alcohol and other drug use and how they can be treated. But scientists opine that the web 2.0 has applications such as the social influence tool that can be useful in alcohol and other drugs use and treatment. This application allow individuals to learn in a more social context with changes in opinions, feelings , attitudes, thoughts and behavior as a result of group discussion. Interacting with like-minded individuals in the group helps in educating a person more on the issues of alcohol and other drugs abuse and how they can be treated.

This application will help individuals to know more about drugs and alcohol before they begin using them. It is a known fact that most people who are now addicted to alcohol and other drugs of abuse were exposed to environments where these drugs were used, having a social forum where adolescents can seek information and learn about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs abuse they will stay away from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Many youths now stuck in the use of drugs began using the drugs when they were cajoled by friends who told them that using drugs of abuse is ‘cool’ and so they knew all the good things associated with drug abuse but no one ever told them the dangers of these drugs on friendly and in social context as they will learn on the web 2.0 applications. It is a known fact that adolescents listen to their peers more than they do to their parents and therefore the adolescents are led into using these drugs by their peers. The internet therefore presents an alternative interactive platform where these adolescents can seek information and guidance from health practitioners.

Finally, We at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center are committed to availing help to addicts by availing some of the most integrative approaches to healing an addict. We advocate for natural healing to all kinds of addiction. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.

The Potential of Web 2.0 Internet Technologies in Enhancing Treatment for Alcohol/Other Drug use Problems