Technology’s Role in Future Addiction Treatment
Smartphones, tablets and computers play a huge role on our day to day life, for entertainment, work, personal communication and expression. Could our phones become an additional tool for battling addiction?
Apps designed for fighting drug and alcohol dependence help individuals find meetings, build a support community, and identify emotions or experiences that trigger cravings.
SoberTool is one such app. Designed by a Harvard-educated licensed addiction counselor SoberTool uses questions to provide inspiration and encouragement, including relevant personal stories or encouraging quotes, geared toward specific feelings and situations the individual is experiencing.
Another app Addicaid helps users find meetings, set up reminders for the meetings and provides motivation through music and videos. Addicaid’s creator, Sam Frons, battled alcoholism herself before becoming a CEO.
For the first time, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recently approved an app, reSET, in 2017 for the treatment of substance abuse disorder. Available by prescription only reSET allows patients to provide input on drug use and the triggers that led to it, making it the newest component of out-patient treatment. The app provides a way for clinicians to gain deeper insight into their clients emotions and actions, and prompts users to evaluate their cravings and emotions.
Staying sober involves a myriad of daily actions and decisions. It seems almost a natural pairing to enable phones to assist with those. Healthy eating, attending meetings and/or counseling, exercise, socializing with healthy friends and family, these are key factors in ongoing sobriety.
Smartphones, armed with search tools, maps, and ways to communicate, can be put to work finding, guiding and encouraging individuals to access the resources they need. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.
Joe Eisele, CACIII, NCAC
Joe is the Clinical Director at InnerBalance Health Center and has been helping achieve lifelong sobriety incorporating biochemical restoration and holistic addiction treatment for over 30 years.