Mobile Apps And Technologies That Can Aid In Curing Drug Addiction And Impact On Treatment

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Exploring Technology’s Impact on Addiction Treatment

 

Alcohol and illicit drug use have claimed many lives. In the United States alone, a total of 63,632 deaths due to drug overdose were reported in 2016. The data is especially disconcerting because deaths caused by drug abuse are preventable. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers are available to treat individuals suffering from substance abuse.

The traditional model for drug addiction help involves 30 days of inpatient treatment but this hinders many individuals from seeking treatment for substance abuse. Some feel they cannot set aside their responsibilities long enough to receive treatment. Others think they cannot afford to go to a rehab center because of the cost of that treatment.

Apps to Help People Stay Sober

Fortunately, as technologies are continually being developed to advance the capability of humans to address common needs and problems—including reducing the time, cost, and effort of doing certain tasks—the need for drug addiction help has not escaped the developers’ notice. Apps have been developed to help individuals seeking recovery from substance abuse disorders.

  • I Am Sober App. This app is a motivational companion to help you personally track your sober days. It enables you to see your milestones, including the money you save through your drug abstinence. It also reinforces the importance of sobriety by sending you daily motivational notes to help you stay focused on your recovery.
  • Sober Grid. This app links to the largest mobile sober community. It is a free resource, easy to access and personalize for tracking one’s progress. It also enables sharing of progress so you can give and receive support from others in the community. Live peer coaching is available 24/7 through the app.

Other Tech that Provides Drug Addiction Help

Aside from apps to help individuals suffering from substance abuse stay sober, there are other technology-based advancements that help enhance addiction treatment and recovery.

  • Effective use of the internet, smartphones and other mobile devices allow for the monitoring of substance use behaviors and triggers in real-time, generating individualized reports and increasing their accuracy.
  • When substance use is detected, interventions are available in the form of computer-assisted behavior prevention therapies and recovery support programs. Users can access therapeutic support based on actual need anytime and anywhere.

These technologies will continue to evolve and will increase in complexity as doctors, therapists and developers continue to search for answers to the complex issue of alcohol and drug addiction treatment. In the future, technology may be able to offer better rehab and after-care possible without confinement to an inpatient facility.

Presently, the problem of controlling withdrawal symptoms during detoxification is a major concern. It must be done in person with a human treatment provider to ensure a safe withdrawal from the user’s substance abuse—alcohol and benzodiazepines, in particular, because stopping too abruptly can be fatal.

Relapse also is especially likely during withdrawal, even if the user wants to stop using, because the pain can be too great. New technologies may make safe remote detox possible.

Addiction isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Efforts to stop the supply of a drug through law enforcement and prohibition may only empower the criminals or shift substance use to a more available drug. Treatment must be a large part of a solution. Technology can help.

Written by: Dale Vernor
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