Digital Addiction Recovery Support: Profile of InTheRooms.com (Bill White and Dr. Marc Galanter)
A surging recovery advocacy movement, the rise of new recovery support institutions, and advancements in digital technologies set the stage for the birth and rapid evolution of online digital recovery support platforms. These digital platforms have experienced explosive growth during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Ronald Tannebaum and Ken Pomerance, two men in long-term recovery, founded InTheRooms.com (ITR) in 2008. Their early vision was to create a Myspace or Facebook for people from diverse pathways of recovery. ITR grew from chat rooms and discussion boards to the largest online recovery support platform as measured by the number and diversity of its recovery support meetings (40+ groups and 160+ meetings per week), its membership size (840,000+ members), and the geographical reach of its membership (135 countries).
Online recovery communities confirm the growth of recovery support options outside the arenas of addiction treatment and face-to-face recovery mutual aid meetings. Such forums serve as both adjuncts and alternatives to traditional recovery support resources and are part of growing efforts to expand indigenous recovery spaces/landscapes, including virtual spaces, within local communities.
Evaluation efforts to date suggest that online recovery support resources can enhance recovery initiation and stabilization, recovery maintenance, and enhanced quality of personal and family life in long-term recovery. Such resources may be particularly important for historically marginalized populations, individuals lacking access to face-to-face recovery support meetings, and individuals who experience social anxiety, safety, or stigma-related concerns when considering face-to-face recovery support options.
Dr. Marc Galanter and I recently posted a paper profiling ITR's history, service and support menu, methods of operation, and membership profile. Those readers wishing to learn more about InTheRooms.com may read and download the paper by clicking HERE.