Blogging and online recovery support.

Blogging and online recovery support.

Discussing My “Online Recovery” from Alcoholism

Here is the latest Podcast that I have done for my podcast site www.alcoholism-recovery-radio.com as well as www.recovering-from-recovery.com and it is about how being online has helped me beat alcoholism and other addictions. We talk about some of the sites that helped me when I was looking for information such as  http://stinkin-thinkin.com which was the first online recovery community that I took any notice of, and which I consider groundbreaking at the time. It was sadly spoilt by a few idiots, who tend to cause problems online in the recovery community.

 

We also discuss different ways to build a WordPress recovery blog and how to get it noticed. We explain the importance of choosing a good domain name, the various ways of hosting a blog and the pros and cons including the costs of the various approaches.

We also talk about meeting people online and this leads to a discussion about the recent impressive Ted Talk by Claudia Christian which I will post here when it becomes available as an individual talk.  At the moment it can be viewed here http://livestream.com/TEDx/events/5288559/videos/121386805 and Claudia’s section starts at about 02.51.00 and is well worth a look.

We talk about how blogs can help people find out about great methods such as The Sinclair Method and meeting other people in recovery online, and how this can add to your support.

The bad side of online alcoholism discussion – the trolls!

There is also a bad side to taking part in the online recovery world. There are those, who will behave in an aggressive way towards others in recovery, and be critical of the way they are trying to beat alcoholism. Some sites such as the Orange Papers Forum are poorly moderated and are simply venues for people to sling mud at each other, and this tends to spill onto other sites. A small number of people from this or similar “Anti AA sites” seem to feel they are fighting some kind of cause, and will attempt to take over any online comment section that is open to them. This can lead to more intelligent, moderate and sensible people withdrawing from discussions. I tend not to read any comment sections on Recovery magazine sites as a result of the poor behaviour, as they are usually full of the same few loudmouthed idiots having a go at each other. You do need to be a bit thick-skinned if you want to take part in some online discussions and this is obviously a shame, as normal boundaries are often not observed.

Anyway I hope some of you find the podcast helpful especially if you are thinking of producing your own blog, which can be very worthwhile, and I hope to be doing some more podcasts in the near future, including people who are at various stages of using The Sinclair Method and also discussing how meditation can help in recovery from addiction.

6 Comments
  • JoannaC3Europe
    Posted at 22:24h, 08 May Reply

    Great podcast, learned a lot about online features. Thank you.

    Just one thing to bear in mind. that you touched upon towards the end of the podcast….

    In the UK, we have to follow the MHRA guidelines with regards to advertising and promoting the use of prescription-only medications. This somewhat limits what we can do or say online, or in person, about The Sinclair Method – either in the UK, or information intended for a UK audience ie. we could not write an article about TSM and have it placed on the American C3 Foundation website because the MHRA would deem that has intended for a UK audience. Of course, the C3 Foundation itself could write an article and have it on their website, as they are not in the UK but they could not have it placed on the C3 Europe website! Believe me, this MHRA guidelines book is 114 pages long!!

    I had previously considered adding to the C3 Europe Youtube channel with my own videos (particularly inviting non-medical Q&As) BUT decided against it at this stage simply because it would be very difficult to talk about this method without the MHRA considering that we are promoting, or suggesting, or advertising naltrexone and/or nalmefene.

    If we fall foul of the MHRA regulations, it would result in having to take the videos down anyway, which makes all the work it would take to put them up to begin with, and potentially legal action against the directors of C3 Europe and removal of the C3 Europe website. Awareness is slow-going, but we take the view that slow progress is better than being silenced and having no progress at all 🙂

    We did, however, have a write up about TSM and our support details authorised to be featured on the Patient.Info website, which is a very trustworthy site with millions of views per week. Their site also feeds into websites run by local doctors surgeries.

    The Patient.Info people which includes a team of doctors to authorise any materials placed on their site, looked at our submission and decided that it was suitable (in terms of medical information) to be placed on their site. This is a great achievement as they authorise very little 3rd party information for their site, and yet a quick search of The Sinclair Method, or in lots of cases searches for nalmefene or naltrexone, will show either our TSM page on the Patient website right at the top of google rankings.. In addition, they are very happy for me to provide support about TSM on their forum, as well as having C3 Europe listed as a support group on their support group listing page. and so a search for something like ‘does nalmefene work’ tends to bring up their forum right at the top of the google rankings too. http://patient.info/health/sinclair-method-for-alcohol-use-disorder

    At this time, it seems that the way forward (for the UK at least) is for us to talk to the people who CAN place TSM information further into the wider community, such as the Patient.Info website etc (basically because the authorising physicians on these sites ARE able to talk about naltrexone/nalmefene) as not only does word reach a wider audience but then we can ‘piggy back’ off the high google rankings of these very well trusted and respected websites, which provide further links to the C3 Europe website.

    Leaflets etc would be a fantastic idea too, but again the wording would have to be pre-approved by the MHRA, and it all costs money. As a result, our next immediate step is to approach the Charities Commission in order to become a registered charity, which we believe we might be able to do without the initial requirement of needing to prove income of £5000. This would open the doors to being able to apply for various funding, which is what we would need to fund such a UK-wide project.

    Plenty of work going on behind the scenes thankfully! 🙂

    • Michael D
      Posted at 16:42h, 09 May Reply

      Glad you are getting the information out there, I think the leaflet thing could really work for groups such as Smart Recovery which are offering support rather than encouraging people to use a prescription drug (in the UK), which is where the problem with the MHRA.

      Google rankings are hard to predict because google tries to match responses to the user as it collects browsing information over about 180 days, especially if you are logged in. This can make search results vary, so although you may see great rankings on your own computer, this may not be the case for other people. You can check rankings more accuratly on a computer with no real user account where the browser has been cleared on a public wifi, as your router can also cache searches. I get different results for the same search terms on different computers at home! The ones I use to do the website have more favourable results than the business one!

      There is a lot of good information on the Sinclair Method if you search directly but it does tend to need people to have actually have heard about the method to find it. Where it does really badly is when people are making more general searches for help with alcoholism and this is something that may be hard to change in the near future. Wew do need more people writing about this, or it won’t happen for a long time. AA and other methods have many years worth of people saying how good it is that full up those type of searches etc. I use Google analytics and webmaster tools which help me work out what people are searching for when they come on the sites, and from this you can incorporate those search terms into new pieces that mention solutions such as the Sinclair Method, and this will pull in people who are not searching for the term directly. The numbers are not huge but people are starting to get engaged, in fact the lady in the next podcast found out about the Sinclair Method this way and then went to your site for more detailed information about how to get help.

      It is frustrating when the BBC make a program about the effects of Alcoholism with Louis Theroux and does not mention The Sinclair Method, but just shows people having detoxes and going back to drinking. I know Channel 5 has a series coming up later in the year and I hope they will adress the issue, but who knows. We will probably end up with Russell Grant telling everyone how geat the 12 step solution is again.

      I think things can be changed by using social media and you tube along with podcasts but it will take a while for a major shift. THere is also the issue that we can tell people about the Sinclair method, then they can’t get the pills on the NHS! Again that will take some time to change, thankfully it is quite easy to find a way of getting them online with a few simple searches these days which makes the fuss that certain people in authority are making about this, rather irrelevant!

  • JoannaC3Europe
    Posted at 10:26h, 10 May Reply

    Ah, the wonders of knowing more about technology and how things work on the ‘web’ 🙂

    Not my strongest point, sadly.

    • Michael D
      Posted at 21:04h, 10 May Reply

      I think the whole situation is much better than it was a few years ago. There was nothing much on the web when I first looked but that is not the case today. The trouble is that there is so much it is easy to loose good pieces amongst all the weaker pieces. As long as things keep going in the right direction then that is a really positive thing.

  • SincereSobriety
    Posted at 12:17h, 30 May Reply

    Hey Michael,

    Thanks for the link to your webpage. You recently commented on an article I posted on Addiction Unscripted titled “My Alcoholism, My Experience in AA, and My Choice to Leave. You have me thinking pretty seriously about putting together an online blog. I’m looking forward to getting familiar with your site.

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