"Addiction Search Website" is a great example of a paper on addiction. Addiction is one of the most serious problems that our country is facing nowadays. Cases of addiction involve different people, young and old alike, even pregnant women, and the elderly population. In response to the perpetually growing problem, different organizations have put up websites to provide information regarding the causes, effects, and treatments for addiction. However, these sites are mostly limited to providing serious information relating to addiction, which the common people may find disinteresting. This paper reviews the content of the website “ Addiction Search” to determine its effectiveness to inform, persuade, and even entertain viewers, purposively to help fight addiction. There are many addiction websites existing on the Internet.
However, in Eliopolus (2010), the author mentions only five Internet sources, two of which are government websites, while one is non-existent. The problem with government websites is that their pages are unappealing. First, the fonts are quite small, and heavily written articles flood the pages of the sites. Second, there are no illustrations that could capture the interest of viewers. In contrast, Addiction Search is full of graphics.
There are photos of addicted people (See Fig. 1), links to videos, and feature articles. Interesting graphics on the site help to attract the interest of readers, regardless of age. Such photos help to motivate readers to view the site further and to find articles or information that could help them in dealing with their own problem of addiction. Addiction Search offers articles for those addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, and so on. On one hand, just like other websites, it offers statistical data and heavily-written information about various kinds of abuse.
On the other hand, the language it uses is simple and easy to understand. Every article has subtitles that make it easy for readers to skim through the page to find the information they need. Moreover, numbers to contact for help are listed on every page, ensuring that viewers needing advice can have instant access to help or rescue. At the bottom of the page, viewers can find the comment portion to allow them to express their reactions or tell significant stories related to the article.
This part may also allow them to reflect on their own experiences, meet other addicted patients who need help, or simply react to the information given. Every page also includes a link to a video and to Facebook, adding more appeal to young readers. In addition, Addiction Search also contains a page that bears all the telephone numbers of helping organizations in every state to save addicted patients from doing violent actions towards themselves or other people. Most of the pages in the Addiction Search site are commendable except the “ Blogs” page.
Expected to contain blogs of different contributors, this page may disappoint readers to find news articles instead of blogs. The page may be improved by posting blog content from different authors who have experienced and overcome addiction. True stories from real people may be more interesting than news/feature articles that are similarly found in newspapers. Likewise, photos of people who wrote the blog may further establish credibility and truthfulness. Addiction websites play a big role in fighting against addiction. Nowadays, as the Internet becomes more and more popular, people who may be suffering from addiction may find it better to browse websites that could help them get over their addiction instead of resorting to medical flyers provided in hospitals or other public places.
Aside from providing all the information a person needs to understand addiction, Addiction Search also captures the interest of readers by using funny photos to entertain. However, it should still do more to persuade readers to stop addiction. Blogs that feature stories of real people may be added to achieve this end.
Eliopolus, C. (2010). Invitation to holistic health: A guide to living a balanced life. Ontario: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, p.315.
The grim results of teen alcohol abuse. (2012). Addiction search website. Retrieved from http://www.addictionsearch.com/