Staying sober can be tricky, but one tip those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) might not have tried using different technologies to hold them accountable. This is an especially important during quarantine when you might be having difficulty managing your sobriety. There are a surprising number of technologies dedicated to addiction support, so why not take advantage of these tools? Here are seven technologies and how they can help those in recovery maintain their sobriety.
1. Video-Based Therapy
Therapy is a crucial part of helping yourself learn to cope with triggers and the behaviors that may have led to your addiction. If you can’t make it to an in-person therapy session, consider video-based therapy. Studies have shown that digital sessions can provide significant improvements for patients struggling with recovery. Plus, since video therapy offers an instant connection to your therapist, you can use it if you’re having a crisis and need help working through it.
Before engaging in video therapy, however, just make sure it’s legitimate. Check to make sure the therapist is licensed and specializes in Addiction Treatment before beginning your sessions.
2. Text Message Reminders
Most people benefit from consistency. Creating little reminders to keep you on track with your sobriety can aid in a stronger outcome. To avoid losing focus of your goals and future plans, text message reminders are a way to help stay on track mentally.
In today’s digital age, several apps and services can send you motivational quotes and messages specifically tailored to people in recovery. These daily notes serve as a reminder to stay on the path to sobriety. You may even find it valuable to join a recovery chain where you can send and receive personalized messages from others in the same boat.
3. Remote Alcohol Monitoring
If you’re in your first year of recovery and could use added support remaining sober, remote alcohol monitoring systems, like Soberlink, help promote accountability. Remote alcohol monitoring works by using tests to document alcohol consumption. Devices like Soberlink use adaptive facial recognition, tamper detection, and Advanced Reporting™ to ensure the integrity of each test, and the progress of each individual.
A rapidly growing form of telemedicine, remote alcohol monitoring helps individuals sustain their sobriety by connecting them in real-time with their loved ones. Results of each test are sent in real-time to an individual’s Recovery Circle, keeping them informed of your progress so they can keep cheering you on. As a bonus, remote alcohol monitoring can also provide you with documented proof of your sobriety, which can be great if you’re applying for jobs or completing a mandated recovery period.
4. Trigger Tracking and Recording
Tracking triggers is a concept you may be familiar with. While keeping a paper journal might be cathartic for some, using an app or website to help record triggers can be a better way to strengthen recovery.
For example, many tracking programs let you record the time of day you’re triggered. They can also help you determine whether your triggers are emotional, social, or related to withdrawal. Once the program identifies a pattern, it can help you develop a plan to overcome or avoid these triggers.
5. Brain-Training Games
After experiencing AUD, a brain may have some functional impairment. It can take some time for individuals to redevelop their thinking patterns, but cognitive rehabilitation treatment (CRT) in the form of brain-training games can help.
Several studies have shown that CRT increases cognitive function and engagement in treatment, abstinence, and retention. In particular, one pilot study that created a series of games focusing on attention, calculation, visuospatial process, memory, verbal skills, and logic/problem-solving found that patients had increases in attention, spatial perception, working memory, and the speed of information processing.
There are plenty of games you can play on your smartphone to help with this, including everything from Sudoku to memorizing patterns to crossword puzzles.
6. Virtual Doctor Visits
During a digital appointment, an individual can see the same provider they would see in person, just on a computer or mobile device. This allows people to form a bond with their doctor so they’ll be more comfortable sharing information.
During a virtual doctor visit, individuals can bring up anything that’s bothering them. Maybe you’re having an adverse reaction to the withdrawal medication your doctor has put you on. Perhaps you need help developing a personalized Addiction Treatment plan to help sustain your recovery and get your health back on track. A provider can assist you with all of this and more without you having to leave the house.
7. Vital Sign Tracking
Getting back into a healthy routine during recovery can take some work, which is why vital sign tracking can be useful. Wearable health devices can record your activity and fitness levels to help you log your progress. They frequently measure things like heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and body temperature.
Not only does this provide motivation to exercise more frequently, but it also helps doctors keep an eye on progress. A wearable health device can transmit your data securely to your doctor so they can look for anomalies in your health or make a diagnosis. It’s common for those suffering from AUD to have high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, cirrhosis, and more, so tracking vitals can help monitor these problems.
Technology Can Help You Stay Accountable
As highlighted, there are numerous valuable resources you can use to support your sobriety. While these are especially important during isolation, they can also be useful after returning to a more dynamic schedule. Pair these services with exercise, virtual support groups, or even meditation to keep yourself focused on recovery. Remember, even in this time of isolation, you are not alone.