Going Pro: E-enablers and the Internet
The gilded age of technology has made everything we could possibly imagine at our fingertips. The advent of Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube has made the common man an aficionado on just about anything he chooses to be. But does this technology boom come with a consequence? There are hundreds of millions of sites popping up on the internet every year offering knowledge and support on just about any topic, including drugs and other dangerous behavior. It is not a secret to many people that you can type “how to make crystal meth at home” on youtube and get dozen videos, or that you can type “pro-ana websites” into the Google search engine and get hundreds of sites that are only a click away.
These sites are arguably more dangerous than the drug/ behaviors abused by an addict not only because they offer how-to tips, but because, they are ultimately a support system that allow people to continue their behavior. Like the latest Lady Gaga tweet, recipes for meth, tips on how to hide your anorexia, or the latest in self mutilation are at one’s fingertips. Many of these enabling communities have the trappings similar to joining a country club, or a gym membership. People can make decorative profiles, upload pictures, there are even questionnaires.
Here are a few excerpts from a questionnaire posted on http://pro-si.livejournal.com/, a pro-self injury ( “pro-SI”) forum :
03. Form of SI?: cutting
04. Why do you SI?: It helps me feel better
05. When was your first time? What did you use?: I Was 10 i cut myself on some bricks
06. Where do you most often SI?: Wrists
07. In what room/area do you most often SI?:My Bedroom
08. What do you use?: Anything Sharp
14. What would you do if you found cuts on your best friend?:Swap Tips And Ask Her About It
05. First time? what did you use? i was ten, in the shower. completely broken. i used an orange soleil razor. (without removing the blades) i still have it.
06. Where do you most often SI: both forearms. both thighs. inside of ankles. sides and stomach.
07. What do you use: razor blades. (out of the razor)
05. When was your first time? What did you use?: I first hurt myself for these very reasons when I was sixteen, and I used my fingernails in a sawing motion until I saw blood.
06. Where do you most often SI?: Before, I would do it on my arms and legs. After age 19 I stopped for three years. I started again three days ago and I only do it on my legs.
There countless more harrowing and explicit information from various pro-ana websites and well as pro-suicide websites such as the remnants of the now defunct Alt Suicide Holiday
There are also plenty of meth making sites and drug discussion forums that offer tips hiding drug use. This excerpt from Bluelight, an online drug forum, is only one:
[under the thread ‘how do you hide your heroin abuse’]
...However, my face, I'm sure, has them [my family] wondering what I'm doing when they're not with me. Of course I get the opiate itch, so rubbing my nose/eyes, etc. is hard not to do...although I have tried zyrtec, since I found it in my parents medicine cabinet, and read on here that it can help lessen the itchiness. I think it helped a little bit, but I'm still itching and rubbing, so maybe I need higher dose...? I took 10 mg (zyrtec)...should I take more than this? I'm also having to put on lotion because I've rubbed my nose so much it's peeling...I guess I can blame that on the Arizona sun...lol.
Anyone else have any tips? It's mostly my face that gives it away...
Are you snorting or booting it? I always found that when I snort it, I'm always itching my nose once it kicks in. But if I shoot it then I never touch my face. If you are snorting it then do the lotion bit on your dry nose because that's a big problem I had too (the nose peeling from rubbing it so much). Try benadryl allergy, it works pretty well.
The road to recovery, much like the road to addiction, has many pitfalls. Websites such as these are E-enablers, they allow people to indulge in negative behaviors rather than to seek help. In an age where everything is so accessible enabling websites such as these present a new and perilous way of fighting addiction.