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Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Drug Treatment 2.0

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This post is a celebration of  the increasing range and variety of online resources developed by the drug treatment world.

It’s great to report that all sectors of the field are bringing their tradition of creativity to the world of web 2.0

Harm reductionists have eagerly embraced the opportunities to engage with drug users which the World Wide Web and social media bring.

These are just a few of the many high quality harm reductions resources now available online:

  • Regular readers will be well aware of the new smartphone app developed by @UTurnTraining to help prevent opiate overdoses. The app is being widely used and the iPhone and iPad versions are in beta testing as we speak.
  • @GlobalDrugSurvy have harnessed the power of the net to undertake a worldwide survey of recreational drug use. The survey gives individuals feedback about their drug use compared to other recreational drug users, prompting considerations about levels and type of use. Over 15,000 people have taken the survey and you can see the key findings in an animated version on the Guardian website. Watch out for the launch of their cannabis app, scheduled for this Friday 23 March.
  • @Injectingadvice makes his Blog and podcasts freely available online and both he and I curate online resources about the use and availability of naloxone.
  • @isoremedia recently won an award  from @DDNMagazine for their “Flat out and Back” YouTube video about preventing overdose deaths on release from prison:


Posting these resources online facilitates global co-operation and @Stonetree_Aus maintains a busy blog which focuses on using social media for harm reduction and has just started to host a series of twitterchats on this subject.

Those working in recovery services have been no less active.

@RJDaddow leads the RSA’s Recovery Initiative and blogs and posts video resources regularly on new developments involving the arts to support recovery.

SMART Recovery is one of an increasing number of treatment services that offers ongoing online support to its service users, recreating the mutual support and mentoring of their actual meetings in the virtual realm. The size of the organisation and its global reach means that there is always an online meeting no matter what time of day someone is looking for support.

Most of these resources have been developed in the last year.

Who knows what uses drug workers will put the web to in 2012.

Please let me know of other online resources via comments or Twitter.

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5 thoughts on “Drug Treatment 2.0”

  1. Thanks for the mention Russell.

    There is indeed an increasing foray into the world of web 2.0 by the AOD sector. I would say however that it has often been the innovation on the parts of individuals that have driven this. Effective, integrated use of web 2.0 requires that organisations change the way they operate, flattening out hierarchic structures in order to respond in a more timely and personal fashion. This is a struggle that many alcohol and other drugs organisations are still wrestling with. I look forward to seeing this area of practice evolve.

    Regards

    Matt Gleeson
    Stonetree Harm Reduction

  2. See Lifeline’s new searchable AudioBank of people’s views on treatment, policy, recovery etc. Over 800 clips.www.voiceaudiobank.com

  3. I should probably also expand upon the Twitter chat that Russell mentioned.
    #hrsm twitter chat commences this week and is a one hour weekly meet up on Twitter for harm reduction people to talk about the application of social media to support harm reduction. My previous experience of similar groups is that they are a great place to learn and network.

    If you want to find out more go to:

  4. Thanks for the mention Russell, I totally agree with Matt about the progress of 2.0 drugs work being lead by individuals rather than orgs (with the possible exception of Lifeline and my own current employer HIT who are both doing some innovative work online).

    Far to many orgs are still trying to limit the use of social tools their staff use, in some cases blocking sites like twitter and FB (because of course none of their staff would ever think about using their phones to connect to these sites).

    I even had a previous employer who blocked access to my harm reduction based site from all their staff for over 3 months (apparently an issue with their web filter, got to say if your web filter is blocking drug info sites its possibly not the best one for a national drugs charity to use).

    Employers should embrace staff who can leverage these tools, or at the very least treat them as adults and not children who need to be constantly monitored.

    Sorry rant over, keep up the great work on the blog.

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