Home > The use of digital technology in substance misuse recovery.

Dugdale, Stephanie and Elison, Sarah and Davies, Glyn and Ward, Jonathan and Jones, Michaela (2016) The use of digital technology in substance misuse recovery. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 10, (4), /10.5817/CP2016-4-5.

External website: https://cyberpsychology.eu/article/view/6278/5885

Alongside recent trends in the purchasing of illicit substances online, there has been a growth in the availability of online resources dedicated to treatment and recovery from substance misuse, including online interventions, mutual-aid groups and forums. Currently however, there is a lack of research on the utilisation of these online resources. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the use of these online resources by employing online data collection techniques.

A quantitative online survey was used to investigate the range of online recovery resources used, and to compare the types of resources used at different stages of the substance misuse recovery journey. Qualitative online interviews were also conducted to investigate how individuals use these online resources alongside traditional offline recovery resources. Analyses revealed that forums were the most widely accessed online resource, however participants who were currently working towards abstinence were more likely to use therapeutic resources that explore the underlying causes behind substance misuse and help to manage these difficulties. Qualitative findings suggested an interaction between online and offline recovery resources. For example, participants reported that online resources may provide initial contact information for offline recovery meetings, or that offline support with developing digital skills may facilitate access to online resources.

Despite these apparent benefits, there is limited signposting advice to direct people to appropriate online treatment and recovery resources for their substance misuse, so it is hoped that the findings from this study will help to inform future research around the production of such signposting advice.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Treatment method, Psychosocial treatment method, Rehabilitation/Recovery
Identification #
Masaryk University
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