Technology is developing and improving every day, revolutionizing the world we live in. We use smartphones and computers to communicate with each other, work, purchase things, and conduct vital businesses.
Technology is also getting smarter in the field of Artificial Intelligence and is slowly revolutionizing the medical world as well. Technology is widely being adopted in psychotherapy and shows great hope in addressing the issue of drug and alcohol use.
Technology-assisted treatments are already showing great promise with several psychotherapies like contingency management with prize-based or money incentives, motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) already being implemented and showing significant results. Below are some of the ways technology will change or is already changing the future of addiction treatment.
The CBT training program was designed and applied to a challenging population of cocaine and methadone addicts. This program is logical, user-friendly, and intuitive. It is comprised of a set of computer learning games with six modules based strictly on a practical CBT manual.
The model has gentle definitions of the main concepts of CBT, like comprehending and changing patterns of coping with craving, substance use, refusing drugs and alcohol offers, as well as problem-solving skills. This program resulted in a high proportion of patients, 36%, who were able to attain sustained abstinence from cocaine.
The Increase of Technology-Assisted Care
The National Institutes of Health are actively supporting various studies geared toward designing and testing computerized systems that will assist and augment the in-person clinician-offered treatments to aid and help the recovery process. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) have joined hands on a product which will help substance abuse treatment procedures in implementing technology-assisted care.
Currently, there’s a Therapeutic Education System (TES), which is a national, multi-site effectiveness trial that has 62 interactive multimedia components that are grounded in the Community Reinforcement Approach.
This is a cognitive-behavioral intervention that aims to improve the positive reinforcement for the non-drug using actions, as well as prize-based motivational inducements. This module also has a set of relapse prevention skills and information on preventing hepatitis, HIV, and other STIs.
The TES module helps in improving the overall abstinence in patients. Especially among the patients who are actively using during the study entry. After the program, it was concluded that over 40% of patients in the TES program who tested positive during the entry phase achieved abstinence.
It’s widely observed that patients in residential care for alcohol use disorders are generally not given comprehensive aftercare. The treatment system is typically overburdened by labor-intensive programs as well as poor backing, which increases the relapse possibilities. Health professionals came up with a long-term solution by developing the Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS).
A-CHESS is a smartphone application offering therapeutic and emotional support round the clock. The app is both a dynamic and a static component. For instance, using the GPS systems, the app can sense when the user is close to a bar and offer advice on the same.
According to Detox of South Florida, these technological inventions, are slowly revolutionizing the area of psychotherapy. There are, however, limitations to the computer programs, but with time, the future of addiction treatment looks bright. Technology is shedding more light on addiction, relapse signs, relapse prevention strategies, and everything you need to know about the recovery. process.