Scroll to top

Digital Recovery Management: Leveraging Social Network Sites to Enhance Addiction Treatment and Recovery Outcomes

About the Presentation: The ubiquity of social network sites may be leveraged to discover, uncover, and develop strategies that increase access to substance use disorder (SUD) recovery-supportive resources in both clinical and non-clinical settings, and that help bolster continuing care services. Dr. Bergman will present findings that outline a) recovery-related online technology use, including social network sites, among a nationally representative sample of US adults who resolved a substance problem, b) perceived benefits from engaging with a large, recovery-specific social network site among a sample of adult participants, and c) general-interest social network site (e.g., Facebook and Instagram) participation among emerging adults in outpatient SUD treatment. The presentation concludes with a discussion on future directions, including plans to investigate prospectively whether recovery-specific social network site participation can help expand network support for recovery among outpatient emerging adults with alcohol and other drug use disorders.

About the Presenter: Brandon Bergman, Ph.D., is the Associate Director and a Research Scientist at the Recovery Research Institute (RRI) of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bergman’s research focuses broadly on SUD treatment and recovery, particularly during the developmental life stage of emerging adulthood. As a postdoctoral fellow, he studied factors that influence participation in, and benefit from, mutual-help organizations and other recovery support services among emerging adults with SUD. Informed by the spirit and methodology of community-based recovery support like mutual-help organizations, Dr. Bergman studies online technology-based recovery communities and other forms of digital recovery management. These include recovery-specific social network sites, which are structurally like general-interest sites such as Facebook and Instagram, but cater to individuals in, or seeking recovery. He is a current NIAAA loan repayment grant awardee, and his work has been recognized by an institutional MGH award given to the most outstanding paper by a psychology fellow, as well as early career investigator awards at annual conferences for the Research Society on Alcoholism and the American Psychological Association’s Division 50 Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction. Dr. Bergman is a licensed psychologist, having completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University, and his psychology internship and addiction psychology postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.