Since the dawn of social media (circa 2006), the anti-drug and rehabilitation industry has participated far and wide to spread our collective messages on multiple social channels. We've seen incumbents hang on to top positions and new arrivals come and thrive, whilst others have slipped away into obscurity.
Private organisations . . . Government backed movements . . . registered charities . . . various ‘gurus’ . . . power influencers. . . you name it, we’ve seen ‘em come and go. And the social landscape has matured and improved.
Unfortunately Twitter is indeed clogged to the brim with abandoned accounts and spam distributors. How does one filter all this ‘noise’ in order to find those stars who distribute useful information? We thought we’d find out whom in the industry 'the people' rate on Twitter. This ‘Awards’ idea is very much to guide folk in finding those accounts peddling information providing genuine guidance and answers those itching questions our potential audiences may hold.
Whilst all the usual suspects have been voted for by you, we're very happy to see some smaller names included. Hopefully this will provide you with some new perspective on your outlook to rehabilitation. Maybe some of those ranked will be surprised to receive a nomination at all, let alone their inclusion into the final list!
If you're in this category, well done!
…and keep up the good work.
Why Use Twitter At All?
In order to discover the power of social media as a tool for change in the rehab industry, we asked some of the influencers in our space how the platform aides them spread their collective word.
Thomas Gillis of AlcoholicShare, a Connecticut based non-profit aiming to educate and bring awareness to the public about alcoholism, feels Twitter has been vital in the growth of his organisation.
"The major benefit of Twitter is the way it works. Twitter allows me to follow anyone in the world. Two years ago I founded a non-profit and twitter allows me put the non-profit name AlcoholicShare in front of millions, " said Gillis.
"Twitter has allowed my organization to be connected with hundreds of rehab centers, and thousands of experts in the field of addiction, counsellors, therapists, psychologists, even students. "
"Keeping our message on point with a familiar tone we connect with thousands of alcoholics in recovery. "
"When Tweeting I focus our content towards an emotional response" Gillis said, "if it moves me it usually moves others. Never tweet to tweet. Only tweet if you have something of value to offer your followers".
Shari Allwood, CEO of Smart Recovery, a UK science-based programme that helps people manage their recovery from differing types of addictive behaviour, argues that Twitter allows his organisation to not only communicate with his current audience and community shareholders, but to also acquire new audiences, especially end-users of his service who often struggle with their addictions and need Smart Recovery's guidance.
"Twitter helps keep us in touch with our volunteers and supporters, allows us to announce new meetings and make contacts in areas where we haven't had a previous presence, and helps our regional groups communicate with the world" said Allwood.
"It's also an excellent avenue for people seeking addiction recovery support to find us and our meetings" concluded Allwood, "we believe those seeking recovery are best made aware of all available options, and Twitter is one of the best places in terms of democratizing content for the individual. "
Hannah Eiseman, Communications Officer at Addaction, one of the UK's largest specialist drug and alcohol treatment charities, agrees that Twitter is a powerful communication tool for keeping in touch with industry shareholders, including communicating to those within her organisation.
"Twitter is a really interesting place to be when working in the Recovery field. It's a place where we can talk to other charities, health bodies, supporters and commissioners. It's also a space where a lot of our service users are comfortable speaking very openly" said Eiseman.
"Many of our different services have their own accounts" said Eiseman , "so we can signal-boost their news and success stories in amongst things like job opportunities, picture and video content, as well as current events which touch on addiction".
Allison McCabe of Los Angeles based TheFix, a site that offers a daily mix of breaking news, exclusive interviews, investigative reports, essays and blogs on sober living, lifestyle and cultural resources said "we use social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ in order to increase our digital presence, recognize and reach potential readers and people seeking help, and keep our regular visitors up-to-date with all the latest developments in addiction and recovery. "
How We Found Nominees
Compiling the list of nominees was not an easy task and we filtered out all those that carried the halmarks of a 'bot' constructed following — such as those with a high ratio of followings:followers, whereby the Twitter account may have acquired followers by following others, and automatically unfollowing folk who fail to follow back within a few days. Clearly inorganically aquired audiences of this variety have no place in works of this nature.
And yes, this sort of thing does go on!
And a Big Thanks Goes to…
I would particularly like to thank Simplymeasured.com for their fantastic Twitter analytics tool which aided the nomination process.
Yes… this is a TRUE and ACCURATE list of influencers in the rehab niche in 2014, voted for BY YOU!
So, without further ado, I shall reveal those that made the grade! Make sure you check out their profiles and follow their accounts if feel they add value to your daily social perusing.
#1. Andrew Spanswic – @KleanCEO
Twitter Followers: 162934
Twitter Bio: Host of Klean Radio and CEO of KLEAN Treatment Centers.
#2. H. Thomas Gillis – @AlcoholicShare
Twitter Followers: 36147
Twitter Bio: I am the SOBER ALCOHOLIC, I tweet about what keeps me SOBER. GOD gave me a SECOND CHANCE to make a Life. Non Profit Activist, Indie Author.
#3. National Institute On Drug Abuse – @NIDAnews
Twitter Followers: 25200
Twitter Bio: NIDA's mission is to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.
#4. Sherry Gaba – @SherryGaba
Twitter Followers: 16483
Twitter Bio: Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a psychotherapist & life coach appearing on Celebrity Rehab and author of The Law of Sobriety sherrygaba sherry gaba.
#5. Beckley Foundation – @BeckleyResearch
Twitter Followers: 16309
Twitter Bio: We carry out pioneering scientific research into psychoactive drugs and consciousness, and promote evidence-based, health-oriented drug policy reform.
#6. Addiction Canada – @AddictionCanada
Twitter Followers: 11663
Twitter Bio: Welcome to Addiction Canada, a leading and reliable name for Addiction rehab solutions in Canada.
Do difficult things while they are easy & do the big things while they are small. A journey of any distance must begin with a single step
— Addiction Canada (@AddictionCanada) November 27, 2014
#7. Drug Scope – @DrugScope
Twitter Followers: 9996
Twitter Bio: DrugScope is the UK's leading independent centre of expertise on drugs & the national membership org. for the drug field.
#8. Release – @Release_drugs
Twitter Followers: 9613
Twitter Bio: Release campaigns for changes to drug policy to bring about a fairer and more compassionate legal framework to manage drug use in our society.
#9. The Treatment Center – @TreatmentCOPB
Twitter Followers: 9508
Twitter Bio: Non given
#10. Drinkaware – @drinkaware
Twitter Followers: 9504
Twitter Bio: Drinkaware provides consumers with honest information, advice and tips to help them make informed decisions about alcohol.
#11. Turning Point – @TurningPointUK
Twitter Followers: 9101
Twitter Bio : As a leading health & social care organisation we provide drug & alcohol, mental health, learning disability, employment and primary care services.
#12. Harm Reduction Coalition – @HarmReduction
Twitter Followers: 9053
Twitter Bio: The Harm Reduction Coalition: promoting the health and dignity of those impacted by drug use.
#13. Sober Recovery Center – @sobaliving
Twitter Followers: 8306
Twitter Bio: We are an addiction treatment center with several locations in Malibu Ca and now San Antonio Tx.
You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Good sober morning everyone!
— Soba Recovery Center (@sobaliving) November 26, 2014
#14. The Addiction Recovery Blog – @recoveryblog
Twitter Followers: 8018
Twitter Bio: The Addiction Recovery Blog offers insights on sobriety & recovery. It's a place where recovering alcoholics & addicts can help each other Live Life Clean!
#15. The Fix – @_TheFix
Twitter Followers: 7982
Twitter Bio: Addiction and Recovery, Straight Up: News, Drug Policy, Culture, Resources and Rehab Reviews.
#16. Phoenix House – @Phoenixhouse
Twitter Followers: 7920
Twitter Bio: Leading nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities rise above addiction.
#17. Lifeline Project – @LifelineProject
Twitter Followers: 7362
Twitter Bio: Drugs and Alcohol: Not for Profit, Providing a range of prevention, treatment and recovery services for drug users families and carers.
#18. Addiction Treatment Magazine – @addictiontweets
Twitter Followers: 7350
Twitter Bio: Addiction Treatment Magazine tweets about drug/alcohol addiction treatment & the latest news about addiction. Call 855-251-4317 for treatment options.
#19. Talking Drugs – @Talkingdrugs
Twitter Followers: 7037
Twitter Bio: We are looking for volunteers worldwide to help do something about the world’s drug problems.
#20. SMART Recovery – @SMARTRecovery
Twitter Followers: 6650
Twitter Bio: SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Follows and retweets are not endorsements.
#21. Addaction – @AddactionUK
Twitter Followers: 6430
Twitter Bio: Leading UK treatment charity, rebuilding young people's, families' and adults' lives affected by alcohol & drugs. We tweet about our work, sector news and more!
#22. Alcohol Concern – @AlcoholConcern
Twitter Followers: 6281
"Twitter Bio: Alcohol Concern is the leading national charity on alcohol misuse.
#23. Drug Addiction Treatment – @ondrugaddiction
Twitter Followers: 5978
Twitter Bio: Drug Addiction Treatment offers information related to drug addiction & drug rehab treatment. Alcohol & prescription drugs are also commonly abused substances.
#24. Addiction Journal – @AddictionJrnl
Twitter Followers: 5816
Twitter Bio: Publishing peer-reviewed research on alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco and behavioural addictions
#25. Drink & Drug News Magazine – @DDNMagazine
Twitter Followers: 5163
Twitter Bio: Drink and Drugs News is the monthly magazine for the substance misuse field. All the latest news, features and jobs.
#26. Florida Rehab – @FLORIDA_REHAB
Twitter Followers: 5637
Twitter Bio: Comprehensive addiction treatment center offering interventions, detox, drug rehab and alcohol rehab. For help call: (800) 960-5041
#27. Everything Addiction – @everyaddiction
Twitter Followers: 5273
Twitter Bio: Everything Addiction is one of the best sites to find information about addiction, from types of addiction and treatment, to the latest news and public policy.
#28. Harm Reduction International News – @HRInews
Twitter Followers: 4709
Twitter Bio: Harm Reduction International is one of the leading international NGOs promoting policies & practices that reduce the harms from all psychoactive substances.
#29. Rehabs.com – @Rehabs
Twitter Bio: We help thousands of people learn about options for treating drug, alcohol, and behavioral addictions.
Now it's your turn to comment in the comment box below. Do you agree with the above? Who has been left out this year? We would love to hear your voice if you've not voted already.