Is there any aspect of your life that is not affected by technology? One could argue that our reliance on technology has never been higher than over the past few months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We rely on technology to communicate and shop. We rely on technology to schedule and manage appointments. We rely on technology to continue children’s education. We rely on technology to conduct business from any location. We rely on technology to manage our finances, check the news, and even to order dinner.
We also rely on technology to monitor and manage our health. So it should come as no surprise that for tech-savvy individuals struggling with addiction, technology and recovery likewise go hand in hand. Even if you’re not constantly looking at your smartphone, technology could be supporting your recovery in ways you hadn’t realized.
As technology has become more advanced, intelligent, and human-like, various tools are being incorporated into addiction recovery programs to supplement in-person treatment.
1. Mobile Apps
There are multiple mobile apps designed to help people get sober, stay sober, and avoid becoming addicted. These apps provide on-demand support when people need it most. For example:
- Sober Grid is basically a social media platform designed to enable you to connect with others in similar situations. You can check in on a daily or weekly basis and benefit from inspirational and motivational content. (Need inspiration for recovery? Check out Sober Grid.)
- AA Big Book is a free app for both iOS and Android, offering audiobooks, audio courses, speaker presentations, and 12-step program content that can help you stop drinking and recover from alcoholism.
- WEconnect offers daily reminders to continue with your recovery plan. The reminder could involve calling a sponsor, attending a meeting, meditating, or doing something creative. (If this sounds useful, then you might consider giving WEconnect a shot.)
- A-CHESS (Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System) provides emotional and therapeutic support as part of your long-term recovery strategy. (Give A-CHESS a try at your leisure.)
- Nomo uses a clock function to mark emotional milestones, track days in sobriety, enable you to express feelings you’re experiencing, and share this information with people who are supporting your recovery. (To stay on top of sober anniversaries and other milestones, check out Nomo.)
2. Online Learning
Online learning brings together technology and addiction recovery by providing content that educates people about everything from stress management to relapse prevention. Online learning programs are offered by addiction centers, major hospitals, universities, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations. Online learning is also widely used by therapists for continuing education, webinars, and conferences.
More than a traditional lecture with a professor standing in front of a large group of students, modern online learning programs include videos, interactive games, and other rich media content that increase engagement and make the message of each session more memorable. Like mobile apps, online learning programs are typically available on-demand to fit each person’s schedule and provide help when they need it most.
3. Virtual Appointments
Healthcare providers that have avoided virtual appointments for years have been forced to add this capability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual appointments via video conferencing not only reduce the risk of getting sick, but they also allow more flexible scheduling, which results in fewer missed appointments.
Virtual appointments make it possible for people dealing with addiction to attend individual and group therapy sessions from any location. They can check in with a counselor and meet with a sponsor. Professional counseling and peer support are never more than an arm’s length away when you can schedule and participate in a virtual appointment with a few taps on your smartphone.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Wearables
With smart, wearable technology, addiction recovery can be closely monitored without constant visits to an addiction center or check-ins with a counselor. Just like fitness watches can track a person’s daily habits, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered devices are being developed that can not only track behaviors, but also detect patterns of risky behavior, predict a potential relapse, and trigger an intervention when needed.
Technology is in the works that would be able to detect physiological reactions, such as heart rate increases, that would indicate a person is taking drugs. Some apps can even alert you with a beep or vibration when they detect that you’re engaging in activities that could trigger alcohol or drug use. This technology can help you change your habits, avoid harmful behaviors, and stay on track toward your recovery goals.
Sea Change Recovery Adds Technology to the Human Element
To be clear, technology is not intended to replace the expertise, knowledge, and compassion of a human therapist and the many other professionals who support your recovery through inpatient and outpatient treatment. Sea Change Recovery believes in combining technology and recovery in a way that enhances the treatment plan of the individual.
At Sea Change, rehab and treatment programs are often supplemented with technology solutions that are convenient, flexible, and on-demand. We leave no stone unturned in identifying tools and techniques that can help you recover from addiction, prevent relapse, and return to a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle.