Fortify by Fight the New Drug: Review

Fight the New Drug (FTND) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to spread awareness on the dangers of pornography, explain pornography addiction, and help those who are addicted to pornography. After establishing a well visited Web site and blog, along with amassing a large following of supporters (known as Fighters), the organization launched a pornography addiction recovery program called Fortify.

Pornography addiction is just like alcoholism; once an addict always an addict. While I was not experiencing major set backs in my own recovery, I decided I needed to try something to keep a major set back from happening. I decided to sign up and fork over the $40 for the program. Here is my review after using it for a few weeks.

First, let me give a disclaimer. I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health professional, or addiction recovery professional. I specialize in education and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Therefore, these opinions and critiques of the Fortify program are my own and not based on research or professional expertise.

Positives of the Program

The program is easy to use. The Web site has great articles and videos to educate you on addiction and encourage you to keep fighting against the addiction. You earn tokens as you move through the program, which helped me because internally I did not want to start over at any point. You can also set daily reminders to encourage you to move forward and record your progress. If you have a setback, you can record it along with data points such as time of day, location, device, and mood.

Negatives of the Program

First, the program is bare bones. They tell you when you sign up that results are not guaranteed, which of course they can’t be, not even professional therapy can guaranteed a cure of your addiction. But what got me was the statement that if you have suicidal thoughts or have “an extreme case of addiction” then you need to “seek professional help.” FYI Fight the New Drug, every case of addiction should be counted as extreme. When you discount the addiction for anything less, than you are less likely to break free and more likely to dive in deeper. Also, if this is not “professional help” than why are you charging for it?

The next complaint I have is with the price. Again, if this program is not considered “professional help” than why is FTND charging $40 for it? A person can get the same level of help through a personal accountability partner without paying a cent. I guess you gain anonymity through the program, but is that really worth $40?

Suggestions for Improvement

FTND is not sponsoring this post, not do they know who I am or that I am writing this review. However, I will put forth my suggestions anyway.

First, allow for small setbacks and victories. As it now stands, a small setback could ruin your day. However, if your normal setbacks last for hours, and your latest one lasts only a few minutes, than that is improvement. FTND should allow for more precise recording of data so that those using the program and see all types of progress, not just one full day at a time.

Second, accountability partners. The program allows people to sponsor other people, especially teens. I love this feature. However, why not let those sponsors act as online accountability partners for those who need it. You could also allow those who have reached certain milestones to become mentors for others in the program.

Third, incorporate a 12 step program. AA has a 12 step program, and the LDS church has created a 12 step addiction recovery that is similar to AA. FTND can easily reach out to these and other organizations to create an effective 12 step program as well.

Finally, improve available materials. The videos are great, but as a non-profit that is charging money for the program, I expect videos and help from qualified professionals. There has to be a way for FTND to come up with a curriculum by partnering with mental health, addiction, and/or education professionals that offer a more interactive system. Even if they just provide coaches that can help tailor a plan of recovery for each individual would suffice. These coaches can be professionals or individuals who have battled through porn addiction.

Final Verdict

Do I regret purchasing the Fortify program? No. I have found it to be helpful for my current needs. Am I disappointed in what I get for $40? Absolutely. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this program to anyone. You are better off getting “professional help” or working with a close friend or family member as an accountability partner and incorporating applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles of reinforcement. I can only hope to see FTND make changes and roll out a new program in the future.

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