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technology and addiction

Technology has changed a variety of things within our day to day societal operations.  It allows us to communicate across great distances, perform tasks, complete business transactions, and much more.  It continues to advance, and be employed in more and more areas.  As technology continues to simplify and facilitate many operations within this age, it brings the question of all the potentialities of it.  For instance, the use of technology within the realm of addiction and treatment.

Most addiction treatments and therapies tend to rely upon the face to face interaction between patients and therapists.  Therapists typically have the patient in front of them to be able to conduct a session for the most benefit.  And those within a treatment center tend to have positive results in their interactions with the staff and other patients. This makes the idea of technological assistance in addiction and treatment seems like a long shot, but that is actually proving to be untrue.  There has actually been quite a bit of potential being displayed by technology-assisted types of treatment.

There has been a large push in the research and testing of technology assisted treatment. Even including the National Institutes of Health supporting studies to create and test computerized programs that help support management of recovery and assist in clinician treatments.

Types of Technology Assisted Treatments

There are several different technology-assisted treatments that are currently being offered or tested, including:

  • Online Group Meetings – There are already many different types of group meetings that are being offered online. This includes 12 step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), as well as SMART recovery meetings.
  • Smartphone Apps – More people than ever carry smartphones with intelligent applications on them. While there are many games and helpful apps, there is also an app that is designed to assist those in addiction recovery, primarily once they are out of treatment. The app is called Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS), and it offers therapeutic and emotional support.  There are two parts to A-CHESS.  It has the ability to provide audio-video relaxation but also has more dynamic capabilities such as using GPS to alert a person of their proximity to a bar.  A-CHESS has shown promising results in assisting individuals to achieve abstinence.
  • Computerized CBT – A computer-based training program was designed to provide several different aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to individuals through the use of the program. The program is titled CBT4CBT and was designed by Kathleen Carroll and others at Yale.  The initial results have shown to be quite promising.  The research was done on a group of individuals that were dependent on cocaine, as well as on methadone maintenance.  It was found that amount of individuals able to achieve abstinence from cocaine for 3 weeks while using CBT4CBT was over two times those in the regular treatment group.

One group that technology assisted treatments could offer great benefit is those who struggle with confronting face to face interaction or have social anxiety.  These individuals often have trouble with face to face treatment or groups because of their hesitancy or fear of confrontation or interaction.  This can potentially cause them to not even seek treatment because of trying to avoid these situations.  But, certain technology assisted treatments could help these individuals to receive treatment without being flustered or uncomfortable.  Treatments such as online support meetings could allow them to be able to confront at least the initial stages of overcoming their addiction and help them to begin the path of recovery.

While technology is unlikely to be the end all be all of addiction treatment, research most definitely seems to indicate that it could be of great assistance.  As time goes on, perhaps technology will be further implemented in conjunction with modern treatment types to provide the best of both worlds to patients, and potentially give them even better results in the attainment of sobriety.

Reach Out to New Beginnings for Help with an Addiction

While struggling with addiction can be a very imposing situation, there are many different alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers within the nation.  The right drug rehab center can help an individual to begin to understand their addiction, and eventually overcome it.  There are a multitude of modalities offered within different drug rehabilitation centers, and this allows an individual to find a treatment that will be best suitable to their beliefs and situation. Though, it can be difficult to find the right center with there being so many of them out there.  New Beginnings is here to help with that, as we can explain the various centers and offerings around the nation, as well as help find the ideal fit for you or your loved one.  Give us a call today, and we will help you take the first step toward long-term recovery.

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