Fair enough, Paul, to say that new ideas are typically met with skepticism. My feeling though is that something like virtual recovery programs could be good for people down the line once they have a handle on their illness. I am currently reading Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and trying to imagine someone with a severe addiction, like the author's son, taking care of it through a virtual program and it seems unrealistic to me. But participating in virtual programs to maintain one's sobriety seems plausible.
I think skepticism is typcial with any new idea. I think they will be effective. There are similar groups for exercise or weight watching. While the end goals are a bit different, the notion and techniques are similar. Virtual 12 step certainly would be better than not attending such meetings at all.
Will it be as effective as traditional face-to-face? I dunno, but I think the gap will be less than some skeptics may think.
If someone lives in a remote area, this kind of thing is better than nothing. But like the man said, you have to be willing to get out and go to a meeting to address the problem long term. Many people also need detoxification, and that's impossible to do virtually.
"That said, someone with any kind of serious problem -- be it alcoholism, pyromania, or compulsive tweeting -- who is only motivated to click the online Help Button when they have a free minute, is almost certainly unprepared to do the work required to really address their difficulty."
I agree completely. That's why I'm not sold on this idea without seeing any research proving it actually works.
Courts have frequently ordered AA and NA treatment for convicted "substance abusers." Other courts have ruled that such orders violate the first amendment because those organizations are religious in nature.
That said, someone with any kind of serious problem -- be it alcoholism, pyromania, or compulsive tweeting -- who is only motivated to click the online Help Button when they have a free minute, is almost certainly unprepared to do the work required to really address their difficulty. For them, I recommend Dear Abby.
I was waiting for these types of Internet services to emerge. Although probably better than nothing it is my understanding that an effort to physically leave ones home to attend a meeting a show a sense of accountability over an extended time period would enhance one's chances of a successful recovery.
But like Nicole, I am willing to find merit in such programs if there are conclusive studies showing their success. Furthermore, I doubt if a court deemed someone had to fulfill a 12 step program as part as their sentencing, this would be considered acceptable.
I agree Nicole, it should be interesting to see how effective it will be. I would guess that face to face would be more effective. The emotion involed in the process would be taken away online. The question is how much.
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