September 19, 2016
Technology and the rapid expansion and increase in the technological skill and abilities of our modern tech have proven to be of huge help to us. Some will say that there are the downfalls that go along with it too and certainly that is a factor, but for the most part our technology is immensely helpful to us. In today’s day and age, when drug and alcohol addiction is in a lot of ways at it’s very worst, technology is being utilized to assist not only those who are addicted find help, but those who are in recovery to stay clean and sober too. One developer of a smart phone app that helps recovering addicts stay sober had this to say about technology and addiction recovery:
“There are three components to recovery. One is communication. So adding your connections to recovery to the app is immensely beneficial. The second is clarity, so that’s whatever activity you consider part of your recovery that keeps you centered and a good connection in relation with yourself. The app has ways to program your activities and remind you to take part in them. The third party of the recovery, which is probably the most crucial, initially especially, is what your in-person support routine is, and that’d include any of these 12-step or CBT cognitive behavioral therapy sessions. The app schedules these for you and reminds you of them and helps you coordinate them with your groups and counselors.”
The severe truth of the matter is that drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general is becoming a lot more prevalent than it ever was before. Time and time again we are being shown examples of how much more this is a problem now than it was even just ten years ago. Whether it’s the massive numbers of young adults who overdose and die every year, the sheer prevalence of substance abuse as a cause for car accidents, or the general fact that almost all crime is caused by drugs or alcohol, we are seeing that this is a major and impacting issue today. For some general statistics about addiction:
• The overall number of past year initiates of methamphetamine was 144,000 in the year of 2013, which was similar to the estimates that were done in 2007 to 2012. However, 2015 saw a spike in prescription drug use the likes of which the nation had never in fact see before.
• Most, roughly 83.5 percent or thereabouts of the 4.6 million past year alcohol initiates in 2013 were younger than age 21 at the time of initiation, making the young adult population more at risk for first time use than ever before.
• The number of persons of the age of 12 or older who smoked cigarettes for the first time within the past 12 months came in at 2.1 million in the year of 2013, which was lower than the estimates from 2008 to 2012, (ranging from 2.3 million to 2.5 million). About half of new smokers in 2013 were younger than 18 when they first smoked cigarettes, (50.5 percent). The overall number of persons aged 12 or older who used smokeless tobacco for the first time within the past year was 1.1 million in 2013, which was similar to the estimates in the years of 2011 and 2012. Cigarettes are often a gateway to drinking, which is often a gateway to pill popping, and on and on the problem just gets worse and worse after that.
• About one in every eight youths of the age of 12 to 17, (12.4 percent), indicated that they had been approached by someone selling drugs in the past month, which was similar to the rate in
2012 (13.2 percent) but lower than the rates in 2015.
How Technology Can Help Us
Technology keeps proving time and time again to be very beneficial. Today, there actually exist several apps for smartphones that you can use to work on your recovery. These apps provide anything from daily motivation quotes to reminders of recovery meetings or therapy sessions. Some of the more, “hardcore” apps even have a tool that allows you to make sync a schedule with a counselor or meeting group and then not only remind you of the session or meeting, but also remind the counselor or meeting supervisor to call you and find out what’s going on with you if you don’t show up.
Recovering addicts need all of the help that they can get. These tools provide that help. Some of these apps can be used for individuals who are still active users. These apps can provide networks of treatment centers, and the apps can be used to talk to referral counselors who can recommend good rehab centers for the addict to go to. All in all, these apps are immensely beneficial for struggling addicts and for recovering addicts both.
It is hoped that this technology and these methods are continued and improved upon further. They can certainly be expanded on. The tech is new and the ideas are new, so there is a lot of opportunity for expansion and improvement here. With this tech though and with these apps, recovering addicts and current addicts both will be able to find new methods and new ways of beating addiction once and for all and for finding true recovery and true sobriety.