Last Edited: 01/27/2021

Author: Angeline Gormley Angeline Gormley

Safer Internet Day: How Awareness Helps in Avoiding Addiction Triggers

February 9 is celebrated as Safer Internet Day. It relates to campaigns that spread awareness for better protection from malicious information and harmful access. What could this mean for people suffering from substance abuse problems?

The internet is a collection of many things, good and bad. It can be a gold mine for people looking for opportunities to advance, but it can also send many others to a rabbit hole of trouble. This is the reason why Safer Internet Day, held on February 9, is celebrated, to create measures for secure and more wholesome access.

Many people, including people currently suffering or recovering from substance abuse or addiction, rely on the power of the internet. This is where we often find information about addiction symptoms, how to find help, or how to participate in communities that can give us support. The Safer Internet Day campaign can also provide benefits for preventing web-related addiction triggers.

Filtering addiction triggering advertisements

With safer internet access and better technology for filtering, keywords can be used to filter types of promotional content that encourage addiction. For example, advertisements about alcohol, smoking, cannabis, or gambling can easily be eliminated with high-powered AI (artificial intelligence) solutions.

Just like how many e-commerce stores leverage user information to suggest advertisements, similar technology can be used to:

  • Block social media sponsored posts about common addiction triggers.
  • Eliminate ads for addiction-triggering products in blogs, news sites, and other sites.
  • Prevent access to promotional content in visual, audio, and video media.

Monitoring exchanges in various platforms

Although many people value privacy in their communication exchanges, they might not have the right of privacy if they use the power of the internet to share information about illegal things. This can include communication about selling illicit drugs, meeting dangerous influences, or disseminating information on how to access addiction triggers.

Hopefully, with Safer Internet Day campaigns and other efforts, more technology startups and established corporations can find solutions to curb such dangerous social exchanges to save people’s lives.

De-ranking addiction-related malicious content

Aside from advertisements and social communication, internet safety campaigns can also encourage search engines to de-rank malicious content. These can include:

  • Information on how to access dark web content for illicit substances.
  • Gambling websites.
  • Pornographic websites.
  • Other websites and online platforms that have addiction-triggering content.

Technology applications should also work to personalize internet safety for individuals. Addiction triggers are unique, and it would be ideal for each person to use technology to filter certain triggers and keywords from their browsers. Smarter innovations could customize and refine these filters to help prevent substance abuse and addiction.

Safer internet for everyone: building awareness for a better future

The internet is full of possibilities that we haven’t even harnessed. But these wonders should not impede our health or quality of life. With safer internet access, many individuals can avoid addiction triggers that can greatly improve their efforts to recover.

Sources

saferinternetday.org – Safer Internet Day

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – How Long Is Rehab?

link.springer.com – Self-Reported Negative Influence of Gambling Advertising in a Swedish Population-Based Sample

coar.risc.anl.gov – DarkNet Terminology: Definitions of the DarkNet, the Dark Web, and the Deep Web

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Overcoming Substance Abuse Triggers

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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