Instagram Helps Users Find Addiction Support
“If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid or substance misuse, find ways to get free and confidential treatment referrals, as well as information about substance abuse, prevention, and recovery.”
This is the new alert that will appear if you search hashtags like #opioids, #uppers, #crack or #suicide on Instagram. The new feature is in response to the rising number of people using opioid-related hashtags on its platform to share struggles with substance misuse and addiction and to find support.
If you opt for support, you’ll be directed to a new section in Instagram’s Helper Center, which has links to free treatment referrals as well as other information about substance abuse and recovery. Instagram partnered with organizations like Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the NCADD and the Partnership for Drug Free Kids to help supply these resources.
This isn’t the first time Instagram has helped in the battle against opioids. Previously, Instagram blocked many hashtags related to opioids and other drugs and the app’s rules prohibit people from buying or selling prescription and illegal drugs on its service. The app rolled out a similar feature in 2016 for users who search for hashtags related to self-injury and eating disorders.
“People from all over the world use hashtags, comments, and more to offer support and find communities who understand the issues they may be struggling with,” Instagram’s head of public policy, Karina Newton, said in a statement. “The opioid epidemic is an issue that affects millions of people, and we want to use our platform to offer resources to those who need it – in the places where they are seeking help.”
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