Can Technology Assist in Addiction Recovery?

medical assistant standing in front of desk with a tablet

Technology has always been a major part of our lives, changing the way we interact with the world. Today we’re able to connect with people across the globe and track their behaviors and progress. Whether through games, apps, or smartphones, technology is being integrated into treatment plans more and more each day. Here are some helpful tips on how you can use technology to your advantage.

What Are the Benefits of Using Technology for Addiction Recovery?

Some of the more helpful uses for technology for recovery from substance use disorder (SUD)  include:

  • Providing a way for you to reach out to those who support you in recovery.
  • Finding out more about addiction recovery through online videos and articles
  • Learning new strategies to deal with cravings via online research
  • Using apps, email, or social media to maintain accountability for your recovery by sharing your sobriety plan and progress
  • Using an online journal or app to track your progress and stay on track with your goals
  • Receiving online therapeutic services

How Does Technology Hinder Addiction Recovery?

According to a study published in Current Psychiatric Reviews, technology can sometimes become a crutch and a distraction. Sometimes when our brains are going through changes or we experience stress, we can find it easy to scroll through social media or watch TV to take our minds off of our problems. Unfortunately, we also spend a lot of time on our phones between daily activities and when we are at rest. While technology can be a valuable tool in recovery, it can also be a tool that hinders progress. If abused, technology can eat up the time a person needs to recover and put a person at risk of developing internet addiction.

What Technologies Are Used for Addiction Treatment?

As a learning tool, technology provides many resources for families and educators to learn about addiction. Technological tools, such as apps and webinars, can help parents, young people, and teachers learn about SUD and the latest treatment options. Here are some technological tools that a person can use for their recovery.

Therapeutic Education System (TES)

Practitioners view Therapeutic Education Systems (TES) as an interactive, web-based psychosocial intervention that treats SUDs. Some participants have reported that TES helped them discover new coping mechanisms and other skills that make treatment possible. These tools can also benefit those trying to stop drinking or using drugs.

Researchers found that web-based interventions like TES offer significant benefits to patients in treating addiction. Some interventions included prize-based incentives that helped bolster treatment adherence. These interventions also lead to fewer dropouts from treatment and a greater likelihood of staying abstinent from drugs long term.

Virtual Reality Technology

Virtual Reality Therapy offers an engaging environment that provides users with tools to explore different environments and scenarios in a virtual space. Users can learn how to face their fears and practice new coping strategies with the help of virtual reality. They can also connect live with trained therapists who provide support as needed throughout the session. Because this platform is available via an app, it enables users to work through issues in a lower-risk environment without seeing a therapist in person.

EMDR Computer-Aided Recovery

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The brain stores trauma unprocessed, which makes it difficult for people who have experienced a traumatic event to move on with their lives. Yet, through the power of memory and imagination—EMDR uses bilateral stimulation or alternating sounds to physiologically reprocess the memory until it is no longer upsetting to the individual. You can use EMDR via the internet with your computer. The computer-generated EMDR follows the same principles as the face-to-face version. Both options offer resources for trauma sufferers.

Finding Community Through Social Media

Social media has become an important part of the day-to-day lives of many people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., have been integrated into our daily lives to keep us in touch with our network of friends and relatives. These communities operate like traditional ones: they share recovery-related testimonies, memes, uplifting quotes, and images. They discuss topics related to their addiction recovery journey. And members can post whatever they’re struggling with in order to receive support from fellow group members.

Web-based Self-help Interventions

Many therapists, rehab facilities, and drug rehab centers offer web-based self-help programs. These programs provide people suffering from addiction with a variety of resources to help them continue to stay sober. These programs typically contain educational information, video interviews, and articles. Web-based self-help interventions can also connect people with recovery support groups to help them improve their lives and learn to function as productive members of society. These programs are a great way for recovering addicts to meet others struggling with the same issue.

Technology’s influence continues to grow exponentially in our society. Technology is being integrated into addiction treatment plans more and more each day. This change has occurred because of the growing incorporation of digital technology into our daily lives. New advancements in technology provide better ways to help suffering individuals recover from SUD. They can do this by using games or apps created specifically for people in recovery and designed with brain-based strategies. These tools have proven effective because they tap into our natural reward centers while also providing lessons on coping skills to resist any cravings for drug use. Technology has made treatment more convenient and effective than ever before.  If you’re looking for a place to start, consider online platforms as an ocean of information. Restoration Recovery Center can help you use technology to support you in your recovery. You can make a change today! Call us at (888) 290-0925 for more information.

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