It’s a rather new group.
Barely a year since it’s creation it boasts a membership of over 60,000 already! Founder Matt Mendoza was happily surprised when the fledgling Facebook community reached 45,000 members in only 4 months.
Like most addiction community creators Mr. Mendoza was once an active addict. He spent 7 years addicted to opiates. It was a costly habit that led him to incorporate drastic measures in order to maintain a steady supply of pills.
It’s not at all a unique story when an addict’s attempts to acquire money for their habit leads to estrangement from friends and family. Although completely understandable it’s also well known that addicts do not recover in solitude.
Matt believes that when an addict becomes isolated the idea of community “becomes foreign to them.”
So he decided to create a community online.
The Affected By Addiction Support Group is not solely for the addicts themselves. It was also designed to be helpful to the family members who feel they have nowhere to turn when their loved one becomes mired in drug dependency. Mr. Mendoza felt that there was a need for an online forum where both addicts and their families are equally welcomed and supported.
Mothers make up a great deal of the group’s membership. Some mothers have children in active addiction, some have children who have recovered and many, unfortunately, have lost their child to drug dependency. It may seem odd to have mothers whose children have passed due to drug addiction but they stay within the group because they believe they can still serve a purpose. They remain to offer support and advice.
The group’s members help one another in many and varied ways. There is always something to be learned. Ideas are exchanged. Information and helpful guidance are offered. In particular, there is a great deal of advice on navigating the often daunting challenges of insurance coverage. It’s also a safe space to vent freely. Of course, it is a private group so only members can see what is posted and shared.
Although the group is not at all affiliated with any treatment center, there are plenty of recommendations and reviews of available facilities. A pinned post offers excellent counseling on what to look for when deciding on a recovery treatment center. It’s believed that thousands of people have gotten treatment as a result of this online community.
Mendoza believes that for an addict, a community becomes the difference between life and death. (and we agree)
He states that The Affected By Addiction Facebook group is a place to “share something that society has deemed shameful”. It’s a no judgment zone that supports people through setbacks and communally celebrates victories.
In addition, the Facebook group Mr. Mendoza also created https://addictionunscripted.com/. This bright and highly educational website offers a vast amount of information about addiction. The site is offered as a collective of the brightest and most talented voices in the realm of addiction and recovery.
There is much to learn while clicking through this site. Categories include News, Opinion, Science, Technology, Blogs and personal narratives. Membership is encouraged and all are welcome to write and share their own stories. It’s the personal stories that really help people relate and believe that they too can recover from addiction. You can sign up for an informative email newsletter as well as follow the site on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
By current statistics, it is believed that half of all Americans have an addict in their family. Matt believes that “addiction is a family disease”. Both the Affected By Addiction Facebook group and www.addictionunscripted.com are intended to be safe spaces “to talk about addiction in its most raw form”. Both are tremendous additions to the online recovery community. Keep up the good work!
See the special Good Morning America did on Affected by Addiction: