The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all – but probably few as much as those working through an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
Stress, isolation, lack of structure, limited access to physical and mental health care, and changes in treatment paradigms have all increased the risk of relapses and pose barriers to recovery for people with SUDs.
As reported in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Aware Recovery Care has met the challenge of these times with innovation – particularly technological innovation.
According to the Journal, "Aware has been incorporating technology into client care since its inception in 2011, including wearables for activity and physiology tracking/wellness, mobile apps for accountability and geolocation tracking, and online interactive client portals to enhance participation in care."
A few examples…
Aware currently offers existing and new clients the option to participate in an ongoing clinical study to test and refine a particular digital platform named RAE (Realize, Analyze, Engage).
This platform is an innovative mobile health (mHealth)-based intervention for individuals in treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction that combines digital diagnostics with digital therapeutics to promote sustained sobriety and recovery.
According to the report in the Journal, "…the RAE system consists of: 1) a wearable device that detects digital biomarkers of substance craving and stress; 2) a mobile app that offers several levels of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)-based interventions upon stress or craving detection or immediate connection to a clinician if the client indicates the need for help; and, 3) a clinician-facing portal to deliver actionable insights to a treatment team.
For those battling an alcohol addiction, Aware is also offering clients an additional digital tool called SoberLink. This device sends a text alert to Aware clients at three predetermined times throughout the day over twelve hours, requesting they use the SoberLink breathalyzer to send data to Aware clinicians to monitor their progress.
Do these technologies work?
According to the Journal, "…While many are anxiously awaiting a return to in-person treatment, a recent anonymous quality assurance survey of Aware's clinical staff (including N = 109 licensed master's-level clinicians, peer support personnel, nurses, and physicians) and clients (N = 322) suggests that digital practices are still allowing for effective delivery of care. When asked "Is the lack of physical proximity a barrier to treating your clients?" 48% of clinicians reported "never" or "rarely" and 46% reported "sometimes." Eighty-eight percent of clients surveyed responded that remote practices were not a barrier in their treatment."
If you're struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, or Southern Maine, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.