What Impact Does Social Media Have On Alcohol Addiction?

What Impact Does Social Media Have On Alcohol Addiction?

Social media is notorious for perpetuating myths about “Cali sober” and encouraging individuals to partake in various challenges involving drugs and alcohol. But, for those suffering from alcohol addiction, what impact does this have on them? Even consuming alcohol-related content on social media can be difficult for those in recovery. Does social media have the tools to set boundaries on various accounts to facilitate lasting healing and sobriety?

What Is Cali-Sober?

Have you heard of the term “Cali sober?” This expression has been coined as a way to describe someone who is abstaining from substance use except cannabis. The Cali Sober approach to substance use became popular in 2020, and in 2021 a song named “California Sober” by Demi Lovato was released. This approach has been shared across social media to the point it is now viewed as a trend. However, the normalization of using cannabis and terming it as “sober” is problematic. 

Some argue that the Cali sober trend is a form of harm reduction as it encourages you to abstain from “harder” substances and drugs. However, cannabis is still a dangerous drug. Continuing any form of the drug can not fix addiction. It can still lead to many of the consequences of alcohol addiction, such as withdrawal symptoms, debt, and marriage breakdowns. But in this case, it is with a different use of substance. 

Replacing substance use also prolongs an individual from receiving the treatment they need to uncover the underlying cause of their use. This is the key to creating lasting recovery and returning an individual to a healthier and happier life. The glorification of this trend on social media brainwashes those struggling with addiction into believing relying on a substance is not a bad thing. If everyone on social media does it, why can’t I? 

If you are struggling with addiction, your ego (the subconscious part of your behavior) will latch on to this to make you feel better about your addiction. At Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we will help you understand how social media can feed this side of your human behavior, having a detrimental effect on your recovery.

Does Social Media Have Detrimental Effects on Alcohol Addiction?

Over the years, users of social media have been posting “glamorizing” content about alcohol use. Partying in a club, at home, or on holiday dominates social media. Behind the alcohol are often smiling, laughing faces, leading users to associate alcohol with having a fun time.

It’s important to highlight that the main connection between social media and drugs is influence. Social media has been designed as an influential platform to inspire and encourage. It has even blurred the lines of reality, with most people not able to differentiate between real life and what’s posted on social media. 

Often, we believe everything we see on social media, which is concerning when it comes to how alcohol is portrayed. The surge of influencers has a huge part to play in this. Recently, there was a Benadryl challenge on TikTok where users were encouraged to purposely overdose on Benadryl to experience hallucinations. 

This is just a recent example of many challenges including alcohol and drugs that are putting many people at risk. Some common ways that social media encourage alcohol addiction are:

  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Many people have a genuine fear of missing out. Comparison is a major problem with social media. It also comes back to our “cave days,” where we would have to fit in to survive. FOMO is a reaction to this survival instinct, but it is in modern times!

  • Alcohol Trends

People often want to be caught up in the recent trends. So whether that’s a type of alcoholic drink everyone is posting on social media or the dangerous challenges we mentioned, social media creates an unrealistic feeling of “fitting in” when you jump on the trends. 

  • Validation 

Like the trends and FOMO we mentioned, social media is a platform that holds great gratification. 

A Threat to Sobriety

At Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we understand that for those in recovery, social media can be a major trigger and can cause relapse. Consuming content of substances or substance-related content, especially those that depict having fun, can create a sense of nostalgia. This may cause the person to long for the substance and break their sobriety.

Another interesting point to highlight is the impact social media has on the demand for substances. Social media not only normalizes large amounts of alcoholic consumption, but you can also connect with content creators who have access to substances. This makes accessing substances more readily available and increases the chance of relapse. 

Does Social Media Have the Right Tools to Prevent This?

If you are currently in sobriety, we encourage you to set boundaries on various accounts and be mindful of the content you’re consuming. You might ask, does social media have the right tools to take preventative measures? 

Although social media does not have specific tools in place to stop you from coming across alcohol-related content, you need to understand that social media may impact your sobriety. Because of this, it’s important to set your own personal boundaries to prevent this. 

Here are a few ways you can create a supportive relationship with social media during sobriety: 

  • Unfollow any accounts that post potentially triggering content
  • Limit your time on social media 
  • Follow inspirational and motivational accounts 
  • Use social media in a healthy way to connect to friends and support you on your journey 

Social media can have a detrimental impact on those with alcohol addiction. With the circulation of the “Cali Sober” trend and trending challenges abusing substances, social media normalizes the use of substances. You may experience feelings of envy and a fear of being left out when viewing alcohol-related content, but please know you are not missing out. You can use social media in a positive way to help your addiction by following inspiring content. Laguna Shores Recovery Center is here to help if you need help managing your addiction. Early intervention is the key to success. Hope and change are here. Don’t let addiction continue, and don’t let social media sabotage your progress. Call us today at (866) 774-1532.