With the Internet and social media, the underground drug culture and mainstream cultures are converging online. Online drug forums are just one example. In the illicit and questionably-legal forums, previously isolated drug users are gathering online to share stories, helpful information, and advice without restrictions of borders and time zones. Anonymity online is easier than in the real world, too.
These forums allow drug communities from all over the world to express ideas on a common platform: the interweb. It’s like Facebook for a targeted community, but a little less “Hey, look at me!” since forum users often discuss illegal activities they’ve been or are involved with. I sift through these sites on a daily basis looking for any interesting new content about addiction contributed by professionals, the media and the average Joe.
Those who wish to participate in these forums simply sign up for an account and follow rules like “be nice” and “don’t put yourself at risk” – meaning don’t post anything self-incriminating. Since anyone can see these forums online, it’s better to be anonymous. Some forum users often reference SWIM, “someone who isn’t me”, when talking about illegal activities. Others attempt to sharpen their creative writing skills, and paint portraits of mythical creatures that they then assign illegal actions to, when telling stories of drug use.
The forums are active. Some folks post new threads nearly every day. Popular discussions revolve around pain management, the chemistry of certain drugs, harm reduction, drug testing, the news, and drug laws. It’s all about drugs, alcohol and living with addiction.
“Reporting from the Drug Forums” is a regular feature on JohnsAddiction, as long as the forums provide insights into drug and alcohol use, misuse, abuse, addiction, rehab and recovery.
- Reports from the Drug Forums, a regular feature on JohnsAddiction.com