Reaching America’s Addicted Youth Through Recovery Memes
As drug abuse and addiction continue to plague the United States, particularly amongst its youngest generations, there are some in the recovery community that are looking for new ways to carry the message of hope to anyone who finds themselves caught in the grips of addiction.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 16.3 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 have struggled with substance use disorder, this is the highest percentage of any age group.
Because of the high proportion of teens and young adults who struggle with substance abuse, some members of the recovery community are looking to social media in hopes of carrying the message of recovery to those who may be unaware.
Tim, the founder of Dank Recovery Memes, which is a recovery based social media page, struggled with substance abuse himself in the past. “I got added to a meme group on Facebook and this group helped me grow in my recovery…” Tim said. “What I found in that group were people that were a lot like I was, people that took their recovery very seriously but were able to laugh at things”
Tim felt that utilizing social media was a useful and relatively untapped platform in reaching those who may not have been exposed to recovery before. “We are sharing our experience strength and hope, just in a different way,” Tim said.
Because social media users are predominately younger, Dank Recovery Memes is also in the unique position to reach those younger individuals who are struggling with addiction. “We have had lots of people message us saying that we were what got them into recovery,” Tim said.
Breaking the Stigma of Addiction
In addition to exposing younger generations to recovery, Dank Recovery Memes is helping to shed a new light on the disease of addiction to society at large. “We wanted to use humor to de-stigmatize addiction,” Tim said. The social stigma associated with addiction has created roadblocks for the advancement of the recovery movement within our society. Many who struggle with the disease are too ashamed to come forward and admit to their families and friends that they need help.
With over 330,000 followers on their Facebook page alone, Dank Recovery Memes is reaching many people who otherwise might have continued to struggle with their disease. “We had a girl who saw our page and reached out to us, we helped her find a facility in her area that could help her,” said Tim.
This is not an isolated event for the page either, in their almost two-year history, Dank Recovery Memes has heard hundreds of stories from those they have helped find hope in treating their addictions. “So many people have reached out to us who have similar stories,” Tim said.
Overcoming Adversity Within the Recovery Community
Dank Recovery Memes’ quest to shine a light on the addiction problem in the country has not come without controversy, however. There are some traditionalists within the recovery community who do not see the benefit of looking at the disease of addiction through a lens of humor. “Mostly we have had very positive responses from the recovery community, but there are always going to be people who think you shouldn’t laugh at [addiction]” Tim said.
Tim hasn’t let the few critics deter him and the rest of the team at Dank Recovery Memes, however; “We respect all of the traditional ways of getting sober, but we savor the opportunity to carry the message in a different way and we take our recovery very seriously,” Tim said.
Dank Recovery Memes isn’t planning on going away anytime soon either, with more and more followers they are receiving more material than ever. Their material is a combination of original material as well as user submitted memes and jokes. “We could run the page solely on user submissions,” said Tim.
Tim and his team are continuing to expand their reach as well. “The plan is to keep doing what we’re doing, we’re looking into other forms of media,” he said.
With the number of young people in the country who find themselves addicted to drugs, there is no doubt that the goal of Dank Recovery Memes is a noble one.